Seoul — The world’s biggest smartphone maker Samsung blamed faulty batteries on Monday for the fires that hit its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device last year, as it sought to draw a line under the humiliating recall. Samsung Electronics was forced to discontinue the smartphone, originally intended to compete with Apple’s iPhone, after a chaotic recall that saw replacement devices also catching fire. The debacle cost the South Korean company billions in lost profit and reputational damage, during a torrid period when it has also been embroiled in a corruption scandal that has seen the country’s President Park Geun-Hye impeached. Internal and independent investigations "concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents", Samsung said. "We sincerely apologise for the discomfort and concern we have caused to our customers," said Koh Dong-Jin, the head of its mobile business, bowing before hundreds of reporters and cameramen at a media conference. Samsung Electronic...

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