Samsung Note 7 shipments to Australia “paused”

Alex Kidman 10 October 2016


Following reports of fires with replacement Note 7 handsets, it appears that Samsung has delayed supplying replacement devices.

The news surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 continues to get worse for Samsung, with The Verge reporting that, according to an internal Telstra memo, Samsung has paused shipping any new handsets into the country following a small spate of reported handset fires in the US.

The issue with the Galaxy Note 7 first erupted when the initial batch, including some handsets sold in Australia, were prone to a battery overheating issue that could cause the handset to catch fire. This is, to put it politely, not a good thing, and Samsung rapidly issued a recall that included all handsets sold in Australia, promising full refunds or replacement stock once it was available in the country.

The issue is that the fires recently reported in the US were allegedly from the new, not--meant-to-explode stock. That’s a definite issue for the handset as the new stock was meant to specifically fix this issue, although it’s not yet entirely clear how many of the reports relate to genuinely replaced stock, or if they were indeed earlier Note 7 devices that hadn’t been returned.

The Verge quotes a claimed Telstra memo that reads as follows:

Please be advised of some updates to the Samsung Note 7 Global Exchange program.
Samsung has temporarily paused the supply of new Galaxy Note7 smartphones following a reported incident in a replacement phone in the US. Samsung is confident in the replacement Note7 and says they have no reason to believe it’s not safe. We’ll let you know the status of your replacement Note7 as soon as we have more information.
We have contacted impacted customers to advise them of the delay.

Neither Telstra nor Samsung has yet to make a public statement regarding the pausing of replacement stock; we’ll update if they do.

I’ve got a Galaxy Note 7: What should I do?

There are, to be fair, no reported instances of replacement Galaxy Note 7 stock catching fire in Australia. If you’re still stubbornly holding onto an original release Note 7 handset you’re being remarkably stubborn; we’d strongly and seriously recommend you return it for replacement or refund (your choice).

That being said, we’d be cautious about using replacement stock as well until this can be cleared up, and that brings with it a serious issue around the Note 7 as a going concern. It’s a relatively trivial matter to show that a smartphone that may catch fire isn’t fit for purpose, so if you do have a Note 7 handset, it may be wise to consider your other alternatives in the smartphone space. The relatively high handset cost of the Note 7 means you’d have a wide variety to pick from if you went down that path.

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