After numerous reports of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones catching on fire while charging, Samsung halted sales in 10 countries and recalled its newly released device. The root of the problem is the Galaxy Note 7’s battery and an estimated 0.1 percent of devices are impacted. Here's what you need to know right now if you own one of the affected smartphones.
1. You should turn it off and stop using it.
What should Samsung users do? In the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned consumers to “power them down and stop charging or using the device” and the Federal Aviation Administration has urged airline passengers to not use or charge their Note 7s while on an aircraft. In a recent press release, the South Korean company advised users to shut off their devices and “exchange them as soon as possible.” Contact your carrier, go to the retail store where you bought your Note 7, or call 1-800-SAMSUNG for more info.
2. You'll get a replacement —eventually.
In its global replacement program—the company is not calling it a recall—Samsung outlined a refund and exchange strategy where consumers can either exchange their existing phone for a new Note 7 or swap it out for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge.
“We are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible and in compliance with related regulation,” said DJ Koh, Samsung’s president of mobile communications business, in a statement.
3. You can get a loaner until the replacement models are ready.
The timeline for those opting to get a replacement device will vary, with reports citing Sept. 19 as the earliest release date. In a statement, Samsung shares that customers can “replace their current device with a new device based on local availability.” Newly manufactured models will be released pending CPSC approval. Customers who have to wait for a new Samsung Galaxry Note 7 can receive a Samsung J Series loaner phone for the time being.
4. Samsung might brick your phone remotely if you don't turn it off.
Rumors have circulated that the company plans to remotely disable any units that haven't been handed over by Sept. 30. Samsung has denied the rumors and says it won't be disabling defective phones. But it hasn't denied that it can do it, so that's another reason to turn your phone in ASAP.
5. It's all the fault of one battery supplier.
According to The Associated Press, the battery cells produced at one of Samsung’s two battery suppliers have problems. DJ Koh told reporters in a news conference that an investigation revealed “there was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process so it was very difficult to find out,” which is likely responsible for the reported phones catching on fire.
“To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” wrote Samsung in its preliminary statement. “However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.”