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Loyalists stick with Note 7 to the bitter end

Samsung halts production of Galaxy Note 7

Sometimes it really is hard to say goodbye.

Samsung stopped selling and making all versions of its explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday, a death knell for the beleaguered smartphone.

But try telling that to the diehard fans.

It’s “like a sad love story,” said Julius Wilkerson of Jacksonville, Florida, who told CNNMoney he has had a Note 7 since it came out. “I’m talking on it now.”

Related: Samsung kills off Galaxy Note 7 smartphone

Wilkerson, 36, said there’s nothing else on the market like his Galaxy Note 7. Its high waterproof rating means he can take it in the shower with him, and he loves its large size and pen tool.

“I got big hands,” he said. “I don’t like small phones.”

The Note 7 has been a disaster for the South Korean electronics company, which saw its stock drop 8% on Tuesday in Seoul.

The company recalled 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s worldwide last month because of faulty lithium-ion batteries that overheated and caused some phones to catch fire.

When Samsung offered replacements, customers said those also overheated.

Mario Pacheco of Denver, who recently exchanged his Note 7 for a new one, called the ordeal “sickening.” He said he’s getting in touch with Samsung about next steps.

“There has to be some kind of incentive for me to give up the phone — to go to a phone that I don’t want,” said Pacheco, 34, who said he was drawn to the Note 7’s extra storage capacity and a screen he called “better than all the screens out there.”

Related: Samsung halts production of troubled Galaxy Note 7 phone

Wilkerson, meanwhile, said he initially resisted ordering the newer Note 7, and got used to ignoring the warning messages Samsung pushed to his phone instructing him to return it.

By the time he put in for a replacement, it was too late. His order was canceled Monday after U.S. cellphone carriers stopped sales and Samsung suspended production.

Now Wilkerson is researching his options. He said he’ll go with the LG V20, which launches later this month, if it’s “worthy.”

“If not,” he added, “then I’ll keep this one.”

Wilkerson said he’ll fight his phone’s move toward obsolescence by turning off its automatic updates. Others, like Pacheco, seemed readier to accept defeat.

“I’m going to hold on to it as long as I can,” Pacheco said. “But knowing that they’re going to recall them or take it away — that means later on they’re not going to update them.”

Neither man, however, said the Note 7 fiasco lessened their opinion of Samsung. Both said they’d even take a look at a possible Note 8, assuming this isn’t the end of the line.

“That,” Wilkerson said, “would be a great tragedy to cellphone users.”

Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_business/~3/Buvjc7t2RZc/index.html