Samsung last week officially discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 following reports that even replacement units were prone to catching fire and exploding. Compounding matters is the fact that Samsung still hasn't been able to pinpoint the root cause of the problem, an issue which naturally has the higher-ups at the Korean-based tech giant worried.
Given that every Note 7 ever produced is presumably a potential fire hazard, the FAA last Friday banned all Note 7 devices from U.S. flights. The ban went into effect on Saturday afternoon and any passenger found to have a Note 7 in his or her possession will have the device confiscated.
"We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release. "We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."
The all-encompassing ban not only precludes passengers from bringing the device on board, but also prevents passengers from checking in the device with their luggage. According to the FAA, the Note 7 is now officially categorized as a "forbidden hazardous material."
Following suit, a number of global airlines over the weekend announced similar bans on Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, including Qantas, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Emirates, Lufthansa, Finnair, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, T, AirAsia, El Al, EgyptAir, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, HK Express, Cathay Pacific, Tigerair, Dragonair and Hong Kong Airlines.
Without question, this list will continue to grow in the days ahead.
If you happen to be a Galaxy Note 7 owner, you should immediately power off the device and take it in for a refund or exchange it for another smartphone. Galaxy Note 7 owners can read more about their exchange and refund options over here.
As to how the Note 7 fiasco will impact Samsung's mobile business going forward, well, that remains to be seen. Incidentally, a recent survey revealed that 40% of Note 7 owners will never buy another Samsung phone again while 30% indicated that they plan to leave the Android universe and purchase an iPhone instead.
For what it's worth, Samsung's mobile chief Koh Dong-jin last week said that the company will do everything in its power, no matter the cost, in order to "find the exact cause" behind exploding Note 7s and to "restore the trust of consumers so that they can use Samsung products without any safety concerns."