Here's all the information you need about the Galaxy Note 7 fires and recall — the events that led to the phone being discontinued.
We're well over a month into the saga of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, and events have taken many different twists and turns since the beginning of September. The crux of the situation is that Samsung faced a serious issue with Galaxy Note 7 phones that have a high propensity of batteries failing, leading to personal and property damage. In the original, pre-recall Note 7, hundreds of phones worldwide have had critical failures.
The phone was recalled officially in the U.S. once, and Samsung launched exchange programs in other countries. But the new models continued to see further issues, with replacement catching on fire in early October. This led to Samsung telling Note 7 owners to stop using the phones and return them, before permanently discontinuing the Note 7. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. CPSC officially issued a second recall.
Here's everything you need to know about this unprecedented situation.
Note: Last updated October 13 with details of the second CPSC recall.
How did we get here?
Following worldwide reports of battery failures and fires with the Galaxy Note 7 in early September, including nearly 100 cases in the U.S. alone, Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a complete official recall of all Galaxy Note 7s in the U.S. Similar movements were made in Canada, as well as throughout Europe and Asia. Regions in which the phone had yet to launch simply postponed shipments of phones.
Weeks later, with the recall in full swing and old Note 7s being replaced by hundreds of thousands of new "safe" models, reports started to arise of the same exact failures happening with these replacement phones. With consumers quickly losing faith in the Note 7 name, carriers in early October voluntarily offered free returns and exchanges for all Note 7s, and eventually stopped selling the phone altogether.
On October 10, Samsung issued a statement that it is halting sales of the Galaxy Note 7 globally and encouraging consumers to return their Galaxy Note 7 to where they bought it from. Shortly after, Samsung officially canceled the phone, and the U.S. authorities issued a second recall, banning sales of the Note 7, and forbiding passengers from bringing it onboard airplanes.
Should I keep using my Note 7?
Samsung's official stance is that all Galaxy Note 7 owners — of both old and new phones — should return their phone to the carrier or retailer they purchased it from. Because of the ongoing situation with the phone there are extended return and exchange periods for owners of the Note 7, and there shouldn't be any issues with having your purchase refunded or your phone exchanged for a different model. A press release from Samsung's Korean arm says returns will be possible until at least December 31, 2016.
Samsung has an updated Note 7 recall page with information on how to contact various U.S. retailers for a refund or exchange. The company has done the same in Canada, asking customers to call 1-800-SAMSUNG to find the closest place to return their Note 7. And in the UK, carriers say that while they haven't taken direct action just yet, they are monitoring the situation and are in contact with Samsung.
Can I bring my Galaxy Note 7 on an airplane?
In the U.S., definitely not — the second official recall means it's prohibited to bring any Note 7 (old or new) onto a U.S. airplane in any capacity. Other countries will have their own rules, but either way it's not a great idea to bring something that might explode onboard an aircraft.
Following the official U.S. recall of the Note 7, airlines are forced to follow the FAA requirement that these products not be stowed in checked luggage or used onboard. Several international airlines and agencies followed suit for consistency, making announcements that the Galaxy Note 7 could not be powered on or charged on planes.
Where do we go from here?
Samsung's current stance on the Galaxy Note 7 is that the halting of sales is that it has halted sales and production of the Note 7 in order to ensure consumer safety:
Taking our customer's safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that in a filing to South Korean regulators, Samsung said that the halt would be permanent. It's easy to see why, given everything that's happened.
And with a second recall now in effect in the United States, it has become illegal to sell any Galaxy Note 7, old or new.
Samsung will now be looking to its next flagship, the Galaxy S8, to rebuild consumer trust.