Update #3, October 10: Samsung Netherlands has also confirmed that Galaxy Note 7 pre-orders have been postponed indefinitely. It’s likely that similar announcements will be made in other markets over the next days.
Update #2, October 10: Multiple Australian carriers have followed AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon’s lead (see below) in the U.S. and are no longer offering Galaxy Note 7 replacements to customers returning a recalled device. Australia’s three largest carriers, Telstra, Vodafone and Optus have all issued statements along the same lines as those issued by American carriers.
Update #1 October 10: Verizon announced it stopped issuing replacement Galaxy Note 7 and selling new units. Here’s the statement the carrier gave to The Verge:
Samsung is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the safety of replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones. While the investigation is underway, Verizon is suspending the exchange of replacement Note7 smartphones. Any Verizon customer concerned about the safety of their replacement Note7 smartphone may take it back to the original point of purchase to exchange it for another smartphone. Verizon online customers may also exchange their replacement Note7 smartphones at Verizon stores.
That leaves only Sprint out of the Big Four to continue selling the Note 7, but in light of Samsung’s production suspension, it’s very likely that Sprint will make a similar announcement soon.
Original post, October 9: The Galaxy Note 7 debacle shows no signs of ending and Samsung looks like it is losing carrier faith in its ability to turn around the fortunes of its beleaguered flagship smartphone. All four major US carriers have begun offering full refunds and exchanges to all Galaxy Note 7 users but AT&T and T-Mobile have gone one step further by ceasing Galaxy Note 7 sales entirely.
In a statement, AT&T said:
Based on recent reports, we’re no longer exchanging new Note7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents. We still encourage customers with a recalled Note7 to visit an AT&T location to exchange that device for another Samsung smartphone or other smartphone of their choice.
T-Mobile then released a press release stating:
While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note7 and exchanges for replacement Note7 devices. Customers can still bring their recalled Note7 or the new replacement Note7, along with accessories they purchased from T-Mobile, to a T-Mobile store for a full refund and choose from any device in T-Mobile’s inventory. We’ll waive any restocking charges, and customers who purchased during pre-order can keep the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card they received.
For Samsung, this represents dire straights indeed, although it’s not overly surprising given that replacement Galaxy Note 7 units are also catching on fire. Within hours of the latest spate of issues, Samsung looks set to have halted production of the Galaxy Note 7 temporarily, as it attempts to find out and rectify a problem that risks leaving the company’s reputation in tatters.
We’ll update this post as we get further information from the other major US carriers, as well as other markets around the world.