Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Production Halts Amid More Fire Reports - InformationWeek
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10/10/2016
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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Production Halts Amid More Fire Reports

According to reports from South Korea, Samsung is stopping production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following more reports of the devices catching fire. Also, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T have stopped selling the phones, as well as replacements. UPDATE: Late on Oct. 10, Samsung released its own statement.

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The news for Samsung and its problematic Galaxy Note 7 is getting worse as more and more customers are reporting that the smartphone caught fire. Now, several publications are reporting that the South Korean electronics giant has ceased production of the device.

In a Sept. 10 report, the Yonhap New Agency, citing an unnamed Samsung supplier, reported that the company had halted production of the Galaxy Note 7 because of reported fires of replacement models that happened in the US, as well as Taiwan.

Subsequent reports from other publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, also cited sources confirming that Samsung had stopped production. However, neither the company nor the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued a formal statement or announced a formal recall.

In addition to the media reports, several carriers, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless, have stopped selling the smartphone, and have also stopped replacing the devices.

(Image: Samsung)

(Image: Samsung)

In an Oct. 9 statement, T-Mobile asked customers to power down their devices and return them to the store. "While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note7 and exchanges for replacement Note7 devices," the carrier noted in its press release.

The Reuters report also noted that several airlines have asked passengers not to bring their phones on flights after several reports of the devices igniting during trips.

Samsung's issue with the Galaxy Note 7 -- considered one of the company's flagship devices -- started in early September. At the time, the company recalled about 2.5 million devices after finding issues with the smartphone's battery and offered to replace the smartphones for consumers.

"The lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious burn hazard to consumers," according to a statement from the USCPSC when the incidents were first reported.

The issues died down for a few weeks and then sprang back to life in early October, when another device reportedly ignited on a Southwest Airline flight. That promoted another round of concern about the Galaxy Note 7.

[Read more about the state of the mobile market.]

On Oct. 7, Samsung issued a short statement noting that the company was looking into the latest issues, but was not issuing yet another recall yet.

"Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note7 devices," according to the statement. "We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible."

As of Monday, Samsung has not issued another statement regarding the latest reports of fires, or the news that carriers has stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7 and replacement phones. The USCPSC has also not issued another statement.

However, the company did issue a response to TechCrunch that seemed to acknowledge a new problem, but came shy of saying that production stopped or it would issues another recall: "We are temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters."

UPDATE: Late on Monday, Oct. 10, Samsung released a statement saying that it has asked all its partners and carriers to stop selling the Galaxy Note 7. The statement noted, "We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place."

Scott works with the editors and editorial directors of InformationWeek, Dark Reading, and Network Computing to help build audience engagement for all three publications. He also oversees editorial newsletters for InformationWeek and works as the day-to-day news editor for ... View Full Bio

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