Samsung Electronics said it expected to take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters due to the discontinuation of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

The outlook brings to about $5.3 billion the total losses the smartphone maker has forecast as a result of the overheating issues.

It had said on Wednesday that it would suffer a $2.3 billion hit to third-quarter profit. 

The premium device that was meant to compete with Apple's latest iPhones at the top end of the smartphone market had to be scrapped earlier this week, less than two months after its launch, due to safety fears. 

The South Korean tech giant said it expected the blow to profit to be in the mid-3 trillion won over the next two quarters - in the mid-2 trillion won range in the October-December period and about 1 trillion won ($900m) for the first quarter of 2017. 

To make up for the lost revenue, Samsung said it would expand sales of gadgets like the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones, and make "significant changes" in its quality assurance processes to improve product safety. 

Investors and analysts said that while the company had to move quickly to reassure the market about the potential financial costs, deeper losses from one of the tech industry's most spectacular product failures could not be ruled out. 

Reputational damage remained the great unknown and potentially more harmful than recall costs, with rivals in the cut-throat industry eager to pounce on any sign of weakness in the market leader's standing among consumers. 

Samsung posted earnings of $7.2 billion in the second quarter, with mobile profits - its biggest earner - soaring 57%. 

The Note 7 debacle has come at an awkward time for South Korea's biggest family-run conglomerate, which is in the middle of a leadership succession and is facing calls for a major restructuring from US hedge fund Elliott Management.

Key to brand recovery would be rapidly finding out and communicating what went wrong with the Note 7, which was recalled when some devices were found to be combustible and finally discontinued when customers reported similar faults in their replacements.

The company blamed faulty batteries for the original problem but it has given no inkling about the cause of overheating in the replacements.

Investors were also expecting the company to show its "commitment to shareholders" by announcing share buybacks or higher dividends, he said.

Samsung has announced financial incentives for US and South Korea customers who exchange Note 7s for other Samsung products, as part of efforts to stem customer defections.