Samsung Galaxy Note 7 brand is in further trouble as even replacement phones are catching fire. According to reports in the US media, a fifth replacement Note 7 smartphone has caught fire in the US.
This news comes even as there are reports that Note 7’s production has been halted temporarily, while US carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile have stopped sales of the phone. We take a look at the full crisis around the replacement Note 7 smartphones which is unfolding
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Replacement phones catch fire
According to a report on The Verge, five replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones have caught fire in the US. The latest incident took place in Houston, Texas and according to the report, the new Note 7 “caught fire while sitting on the table”; it was changed at a Best Buy store in late September. According to owner Daniel Franks his daughter was using the phone quite regularly, which shows how serious it could have been had the phone exploded in her hand.
But what is more worrying is how Samsung is dealing with the exploding replacement Note 7. It seems after the third Note 7 exploded, Samsung tried to bury the issue. Kentucky citizen Michael Klering’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire and Samsung didn’t do anything to help with the issue.
Worse still Klering got a message from a Samsung representative, most likely sent to him by mistake which reads as “Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it.”
Finally one of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 replacement phones caught fire inside a plane in the US, which had to be evacuated. With replacement Note 7’s catching fire, don’t be surprised if the flight ban on this smartphone continues.
According to report in Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Samsung has decided to temporarily halt Note 7 production. Yonhap is citing an unnamed source at a Samsung partner firm, but the company has not officially confirmed if production has been halted indeed.
The report in Yonhap says “the halt is in cooperation with consumer safety regulators from South Korea, the United States and China.”
US carriers stop sales of the Galaxy Note 7
It’s not just production of the Galaxy Note 7 that is in trouble. Major US carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile have decided they will stop selling new version of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. According to a Reuters report AT&T, which is the No 2 US wireless carrier, has confirmed it will stop selling the new replacement phones. AT&T customers get the option of exchanging the Note 7 with another Samsung phone or any other smartphone.
Meanwhile T-Mobile US Inc said it was temporarily halting sales of new Note 7s as well as exchanges. The US carrier is offering customers a $25 credit on their phone bill.
T-Mobile’s website say this on the exchange, “You can bring your recalled Note7 or the new replacement Note7, along with accessories you purchased from T-Mobile, to a T-Mobile store for a full refund and choose from any device in T-Mobile’s inventory. We’ll waive any restocking charges, and if you purchased during pre-order you can keep the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card you received.”
In Australia Telstra Corp, which is the largest mobile carrier, confirmed that Samsung has stopped supply of new Note 7 smartphones.
Samsung statement on the issue
Samsung isn’t going to come out of this crisis looking very good. The problem is the company’s statements on the issue are not very reassuring. Worse so far it doesn’t look like there’s been an official recall of the new replacement Note 7 smartphones either.
Their full statement reads, “Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note7 devices. We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible. We remain in close contact with the CPSC throughout this process. If we conclude a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation. We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we appreciate their patience as we work diligently through this process.”
But as the Kentucky case shows Samsung was hoping to put bury this, and even ignored the issue of the burning device.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has not yet launched in India, and now with the replacement phones catching fire we’ll have to wait and see if the device even makes it to the country.