Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones have been banned on all US flights after reports of the device catching fire, the US Department of Transportation has announced.
Passengers will not be able to take their Galaxy Note 7 phones on flights or in their luggage to and from the US from 16:00 GMT on October 15. The passengers attempting to travel with the device are informed that the phone will be confiscated and the traveler can be fined.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had previously advised against packing the phones in luggage.
This week, Samsung permanently stopped Galaxy Note 7 production.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement: “We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority.
“We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident in-flight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”
The South Korean tech giant recalled around 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries.
While the company later insisted that all replaced devices were safe, there were reports that those phones were catching fire too.
Samsung then said it would stop Galaxy Note 7 production.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye said: “The fire hazard with the original Note 7 and with the replacement Note 7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall.
“I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund. It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do.”
Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7 to turn off its high-end smartphone while it investigates new reports of the device catching fire.
The South Korean tech giant also said it would stop all sales of the phone.
The company recalled 2.5 million phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries, and later insisted that all replaced devices were safe.
However, there are now reports that even those phones were catching fire.
A man in Kentucky said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.
Samsung said: “Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.
“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”
On October 10, a Samsung spokeswoman insisted the phones were safe to use.
South Korean media reports suggest Samsung is likely to stop selling the phone permanently.
However, South Korea’s finance minister has warned that the country’s exports would be hurt if the Note 7 model is scrapped altogether.
“Right now we can’t tell what the impact will be in the long term. It’s up to the company and the government cannot interfere,” said Yoo Il-ho.
“But if they do scrap the model, it will have a negative impact on exports.”
The US consumer protection agency has also urged people not to use their Samsung replacement devices.
“No one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property,” Elliot Kaye, chairman of the safety commission, said.
He called Samsung’s decision to stop distributing the device “the right move” in light of “ongoing safety concerns”.
On October 11, the South Korean transport ministry said people should not use or charge their Galaxy Note 7 devices on a plane.
The original Galaxy Note 7 had already been banned by numerous aviation authorities and airlines around the world.
Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 7 at its annual launch event held on September 7.
The iPhone 7 launch comes just as rival Samsung has recalled its flagship Galaxy Note 7 over battery explosion.
Many commentators expect Apple to have ditched the headphone jack, leaving only one port.
According to a new research, the iPhone 6S was the world’s bestselling handset.
Image source Flickr
The study, by Strategy Analytics, said 14.2 million copies of the iPhone 6S shipped between April to June, accounting for 4% of the market. By contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shipped 8.3 million units over the same period.
However, both fell short of the earlier iPhone 6, which shipped 26.3 million units over the same months in 2015.
Dropping the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 would encourage consumers to use Bluetooth headphones or buy those compatible with Apple’s Lightning port, which is also used for charging.
However, old gear would not be completely obsolete, as Apple is expected to include an adapter jack.
Camera quality is expected to be improved and this time round the upgrade might mean a two-lens clicker for some of the bigger models.
Other handsets’ dual-lens camera can take pictures with two different exposures, then combine the two images for improved picture quality – but it is unknown how Apple would implement the feature.
Other expected change includes increased storage and better speakers.
The iPhone 7 is also said to be water resistant, handling submersion for up to 30 minutes – a feature already offered by several of Apple’s Android competitors from the likes of Samsung or Sony.
Apple is thought to be sticking with its two sizes, meaning there would be an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus.
Neither is the design thought to be changing much, giving it the same overall look as the current models.
Rumor has it there will be more colors available, for instance reintroducing black as an option.
While the new models will be revealed to the world at the launch, consumers will have to wait a few weeks before they are shipped. Pre-orders are expected to open on September 9.
Samsung beat Apple by releasing its Galaxy Note 7 in August. The phone was well received by users and critics alike and started selling well.
But then reports about batteries heating up and sparking some fires prompted Samsung to launch an embarrassing recall last week – just days before the iPhone 7 launch.
While Samsung’s battery problems might tilt some prospective buyers toward the iPhone 7, Apple depends on the ongoing success of its smartphones as they have become its biggest source of revenue.
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