Samsung has put a temporary halt on sales of its Galaxy Note7 and will replace the million it has already sold after reports of some smartphones catching fire.
Telcos that had been selling the recently-launched device in Australia and New Zealand, including Optus, Vodafone and Spark pulled them from shelves.
Samsung said that there had been 35 cases of device fires reported globally as at September 1 and that the device maker was “currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market.”
“However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7,” Samsung said.
“For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.
“We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.”
Telcos that had been offering the device pulled it from retail and online shelves prior to Samsung’s official recall.
They appeared to be waiting for more information from Samsung on how the recall would progress.
“Vodafone Australia has paused sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 while Samsung completes its investigation into reports of issues affecting Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones globally,” a spokesperson said.
“Vodafone will contact customers if Samsung’s investigation finds there is fault with the device.”
A Telstra spokesperson similarly said: “We are talking to Samsung to understand more about the reports and as a precaution we have paused Galaxy Note7 sales.”
“We will contact existing owners directly if we learn there is an issue affecting their phones.”
An Optus spokesperson said that Samsung "has confirmed it will resolve the issue by providing Galaxy Note7 customers with their choice of a replacement, repair or refund handset."
"While we await further advice from Samsung regarding the resolution process, Optus customers can visit their local store to discuss their options," the spokesperson said.
NZ telco Spark is offering Note7 customers a chance to switch devices,
“Any customer who has purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note7 from Spark has the option of swapping it out for an alternative device, with the difference refunded, or choosing a full on-account refund,” a spokesperson said.
“Alternatively, Spark customers can choose to retain their device and receive the replacement Note7 at a later date.”
The sales halt and recall came after video emerged of a charred, melted Note7 device in the United States, followed by similar reports from other users.