Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 problems taking a toll at the retail level, Wave7 reports

Samsung’s problems with the Galaxy Note 7 are beginning to take a toll at the retail level, according to new data from Wave7 Research.

The market research firm said “near-term damage to Samsung share has gone from minimal to significant” over the last few weeks as the South Korean vendor has experienced problems with overheating batteries in both the initial models and replacement Note 7 phones. Between 10 and 30 percent of users returning the Note 7 at retail stores are opting to switch to the iPhone, according to Wave7 estimates, although most are exchanging them for other Samsung phones.

“Note 7 customers staying with Samsung tend to choose the GS7 Edge, while those switching to Apple tend to want the iPhone 7 Plus, although 7 Plus supplies are poor,” Wave7 wrote in a note to subscribers.

Indeed, low inventories of the iPhone 7 Plus combined with the Galaxy Note 7 debacle may create major opportunities for other vendors with new, high-end phones featuring oversized screens. Google may be able to capitalize on that opportunity with its new Pixel – indeed, iSpot.TV reported recently that the internet giant is currently backing its phone with an $11.2 million ad campaign,which Wave 7 recognized. However, that phone’s appeal will be limited at launch due to Verizon’s exclusivity.

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The void represents a potential opportunity for LG as well. 

“With the LG V20 launching at three of four carriers on 10/28, LG has the opportunity to take share, although the survey points to little interest in the V20 so far,” Wave7 noted. “This is not true of the Google Pixel, as customer interest is solid and Verizon is touting it heavily online, but the phone is only being launched by Verizon.”

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Wave7 also said demand for the new iPhone models at launch appears to be stronger than it was last year upon the launch of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Meanwhile, Sprint ended its leasing program for the iPhone 6S last week, Wave7 said, leaving the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as the only phones available for lease through the operator. Sprint last week discontinued its leasing program for Android devices, as Wave7 was the first to report.