The South Korean technology giant urged its retail partners to stop sales and exchanges of its Note 7 that had been recalled in the U.S. after reports the handsets were catching fire

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After weeks of bad press for the Note 7 smartphone, pressure is building on Samsung Electronics to give up on the troubled device.

The South Korean technology giant Tuesday urged its retail partners to stop sales and exchanges of its Note 7 that had been recalled in the U.S. after reports the handsets were catching fire. Samsung also instructed users of the original and replacement Note 7s to power down and store their devices until further notice.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission echoed Samsung’s statement, saying consumers should stop using the Note 7 due to concerns over more incidents of overheating.

Samsung had decided Monday to temporarily suspend production of the troubled device, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the decision wasn’t public

With the next version of the flagship Galaxy S due within six months, and a steep challenge ahead to win back consumers, retreat on the Note 7 may be a sensible option to focus on a future Note 8 instead.

“It’s meaningless to continue producing the Note 7,” said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities in Seoul. “As for Galaxy S8, it is important for Samsung to release the product within schedule and shift its R&D focus to address safety concerns. Samsung needs to rebuild trust by updating the technology step by step.”

The Note 7 has gone from plaudits to condemnation within weeks, as rave reviews gave way to reports of devices catching fire and images of charred handsets just as new iPhones were coming out.

The crisis is the biggest faced by Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, the heir apparent at the world’s biggest phone maker, who is struggling to contain the damage to the company’s brand and reputation for cutting-edge technology and production.

Samsung’s announcement follows the decision by key carriers AT&T, Bellevue-based T-Mobile US and Australia’s Telstra to stop sales of the device.

The recall has been particularly damaging because the large-screen Note series, along with the Galaxy S, represent Samsung’s main challengers to Apple’s iPhones for high-end customers. The devices are critical for profitability as they drive demand for the semiconductors and displays made by its components divisions.

“If Samsung Electronics continues to harm its brand image with Galaxy Note 7, this can affect the entire Galaxy S Series,” said Song Eun-jeong, IT hardware analyst at HI Investment & Securities.

Many people upgrade their phones during the holiday season, giving the Apple iPhone 7 and Google’s new Pixel device an opportunity to fill the Samsung vacuum in the large-screen smartphone market — and making it even harder for the South Korean company to bounce back.

The Pixel may be especially appealing to Samsung users looking for another device that runs the Android operating system.

“There’s been a shift toward bigger screen devices, and there’s less competition there given the Note 7 issue, so there’s definitely more opportunities for the iPhone 7 Plus,” said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities.

As for Google, he said, “The Pixel suddenly has got very limited competition at the high-end of the market.”