Amid reports that some Note 7 replacements have caught fire, the South Korean giant Samsung Electronics Company has temporarily suspended the production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, a media report said on Monday.
The halt is in cooperation with consumer safety regulators from South Korea, the US and China.
“This measure includes a Samsung plant in Vietnam that is responsible for global shipments (of the Galaxy Note 7),” Yonhap news agency quoted an official as saying.
Samsung started selling the Note 7 in South Korea on August 19 but announced a global recall of 2.5 million units in September following reports of some of the devices catching fire while being charged.
The company has encouraged owners of the Note 7 to swap their devices with new ones, but recently a replacement Note 7 device reportedly caught fire on a US flight, leading to cancellation of the flight after evacuation.
According to The Verge, Southwest Airlines flight 994 from Louisville to Baltimore was evacuated on Wednesday during the boarding process after a Note 7 was spotted emitting smoke.
Brian Green who bought the new Note 7 from an AT&T store on September 21, had turned off his phone after the flight attendant’s call and, all of a sudden, the device began to emit smoke.
Green said the phone was letting off a thick grey-green angry smoke. The phone ultimately burnt through the carpet and “scorched the subfloor of the plane”.
Recently, India’s civil aviation regulator lifted the restrictions on in-flight use of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone — but only devices purchased after September 15.
On September 9, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had prohibited the use of the high-end smartphone on-board aircraft.
“It is important to note that Samsung has not sold a single unit of Galaxy Note7 in India so far. The ‘green battery icon’ will apply to all Galaxy Note7 units that will be sold to customers in India when it is launched,” said a Samsung India spokesperson.
Despite the global recall of this flagship device, Samsung Electronics on Friday released a positive forecast for the third quarter of this year, expecting operating profits of 7.8 trillion Korean won (approx US$7 billion) and revenues of 49 trillion Korean won.
The operating profits are a 5.6 per cent increase on the same period a year ago when the company registered 7.4 trillion won in operating profits, Samsung Electronics said in its earnings guidance for the third quarter.