Samsung’s exploding phone nightmare is affecting its most important carrier partners too.
Following several reports of exploding replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices, some carriers are outright halting sales or exchanges. Samsung is reportedly halting production of the Note 7, but a spokesperson would only tell Business Insider that the company is “temporarily adjusting” the phone’s production.
T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon have all halted sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7, the carriers announced. If you have a replacement or original Galaxy Note 7, you can exchange it for another device. Last week, Sprint said it would exchange replacement Note 7s for another device, but the carrier hasn’t said whether or not it is completely halting sales.
“We recognise that carrier partners have stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 in response to reports of heat damage issues, and we respect their decision,” a Samsung spokesperson told Business Insider.
Wireless carriers are the most important retail distributors for Samsung phones in the US. If they stop selling the devices or lose faith in Samsung’s ability to build functioning phones, then it could seriously damage Samsung’s sales in the future.
Samsung issued a formal US recall for the original Galaxy Note 7 on September 15 following several reports the phone overheated and caused injuries or property damage. At the time, Samsung said Note 7s purchased on or after September 15 were safe to use. Note 7 owners were allowed to exchange their phones for a functioning replacement Note 7.
Things calmed down for a few days, but soon reports started cropping up that even the replacement Note 7s were overheating.
The Verge has found five cases so far where replacement Note 7 owners say their devices have overheated and caught fire or started smoking. Most notably, a device started smoking on a Southwest Airlines flight last week, forcing an evacuation before the plane could take off.
If you have a Note 7, even one Samsung said would be safe to use, you should exchange it immediately for another phone. If you find a Note 7 in stores, don’t buy it.