A smoking phone: Sales of new Samsung Note7 halted amid fire scare

10 Oct 2016

The Samsung brand risks being tarnished after it emerged that even replacement Note7 devices are reported to catch fire

Sales of Samsung’s Note7 smartphone have been suspended as new reports of smoking phones come a month after global recall.

Just as Samsung appeared to have deftly avoided calamity by replacing Note7 smartphones amid reports that they caught fire, the South Korean tech giant is back in the cauldron, as reports of replacements catching fire have led to it halting production.

Meanwhile, US operators AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have halted sales of the Galaxy Note7 in response to the claims.

Samsung was forced to recall 2.5m of the original Note7 phablet devices a month ago, when lithium-ion batteries in some of the devices caught fire. Samsung described the problem as a battery cell issue.

The company had offered users replacement devices or alternatives.

Recall strategy fails, now it is a brand survival issue

However, a Southwest Airlines plane in the US was evacuated after smoke emerged from one of the replacement devices and some airlines in the US, China and Singapore have banned owners from using the Note7 on flights.

In the time that the crisis unfolded over a month ago, Samsung has lost nearly $22bn in its stock value.

It is understood that at least five replacement Note7 phones have caught fire in the last week.

The issue is being investigated by the influential Consumer Product Safety Commission.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years