Note 7 is ready to fly in India.
India's aviation ministry — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has eased restrictions on Galaxy Note 7 usage aboard flights. Following the global recall, Samsung has issued an update to the Note 7 to distinguish safe units from those that are still faulty. Essentially, new units with batteries from a different supplier will come with a green battery icon, whereas older defective units will retain the traditional white icon.
The DGCA has announced that Note 7 units with the green battery icon are safe to use on flights. Technically, Samsung didn't commence sales of the Note 7 in the country before the recall was initiated, instead choosing to defer the launch date. It looks like Samsung sent out a few pre-orders and demo units, but has retrieved them. The company is now planning to launch the Note 7 on October 7, and is rolling out a massive ad campaign to allay fears over exploding batteries.
Here's the statement issued by the DGCA:
Aviation regulator DGCA has eased restrictions on use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights, allowing passengers to use the ones purchased after September 15 which have green battery icon.
The ban remains on Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15 which have seen battery overheating and have a white battery charge indication on the screen.
According to the latest DGCA notice, Samsung has recalled Galaxy Note 7 sold before September 15 that have white battery charge indication on their screens.
A Samsung spokesperson also issued a statement reflecting the ruling:
The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory to the travelling public and airline companies today, lifting the restrictions on in-flight use of the new Samsung Galaxy Note7, purchased after 15th September, 2016.
Customers can identify the new Galaxy Note7 with the 'green battery icon'. Devices displaying this visual icon are safe to charge and use during the flight.
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.
We recognize the inconvenience this has caused to customers, flyers and airline authorities, and remain committed towards customer safety.
While the Note 7 is cleared for usage, the DGCA is working with Samsung over a Galaxy Note 2 that caught on fire aboard an IndiGo flight last week. Based on preliminary findings from the investigation, it looks like external damage was the cause behind that particular device exploding:
The public notice, issued on Thursday, comes days after Samsung executives met DGCA officials. The meeting happened against the backdrop of a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 catching fire on an IndiGo flight from Singapore during landing at Chennai airport on September 23.
Meanwhile, the investigation is progressing on the fire incident involving Galaxy Note 2.
Sources said initial findings indicate that the incident happened due to "some external damage" to that particular Galaxy Note 2.