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Samsung suffered another blow in its effort to move past a crisis over exploding smartphone batteries, as customers reported problems with replacement devices and the company was forced to halt production of the Galaxy Note 7 phones.

Samsung has temporarily stopped making the high-end phones, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Monday, asking not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public. The move came after wireless companies in the US and Australia stopped selling Galaxy Note 7s following reports that replacement devices thought to be safe were overheating and bursting into flames. Samsung shares fell as much as 4.6 percent in Seoul.

The Korean company was engulfed in controversy after its most expensive phone hit the market two months ago and customers began posting videos of devices that had exploded. Samsung quickly issued a recall and began working with officials worldwide to replace the original shipment of 2.5 million phones. But reports of fires from supposedly safe devices began emerging two weeks ago in China and then with replacements in the US, fueling concerns Samsung hasn’t solved the battery problems after all.

“It’s an ongoing nightmare,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research for IDC. “You would have hoped that they could have gotten past this already and moved on. Clearly, it keeps coming back.”

AT&T and T-Mobile US both halted sales of the devices in the US over safety concerns, while Telstra Corp. followed suit in Australia. “Based on recent reports, we’re no longer exchanging new Galaxy Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents,” AT&T Inc. spokesman Fletcher Cook said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.

Suwon-based Samsung said it will take immediate steps approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission if it finds a safety issue exists.

The production suspension raises questions about Samsung’s original investigation into the battery problems. The company said the issue stemmed from one supplier, which it had stopped using.

AT&T is the third-biggest customer of the South Korean company while T-Mobile’s parent is No. 4, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sprint Corp. said its exchange policy is unchanged while Verizon said the phone is out of stock at its stores.

Telstra, Australia’s biggest phone company, is offering alternative phones to customers as Samsung investigates the issue.

The latest imbroglio coincides with mounting pressure from investor Paul Elliott Singer, who this month advocated a break up of the complex Samsung empire. Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. – through affiliates Blake Capital LLC and Potter Capital LLC – proposed that Samsung separate into an operating company and a holding company, dual-list the former on a US exchange, pay shareholders a special dividend of KRW 30 trillion ($27 billion or roughly Rs. 1,79,617 crores) and improve governance by adding three independent board members.

Ma at IDC said the production halt will deal another blow to a smartphone that had won strong reviews when it first came out in August.

“They’ve invested so much in the product, which was supposed to be the product that helps turn the company around,” Ma said. “To their credit, it was doing really, really well. That’s why it’s such a shame it has developed the way it has.”

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Aviation regulator DGCA may issue a fresh advisory on the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones onboard aircraft after getting latest inputs from its US counterpart, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The DGCA is already in touch with the FAA on the issue and the fresh advisory is likely to be put in public domain by next week, a senior DGCA official said, two days after a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire on a US airline flight.

Samsung officially recalled one million of its Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones sold before September 15 after finding that some of their batteries had exploded or caught fire.

Earlier, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had completely banned the use of Galaxy Note 7 on board flights as also carrying them in checked-in baggage, which it partially lifted on September 30.

“The FAA guidelines prohibit carrying of Galaxy Note 7 device in the cargo, besides switching off all applications (in case of flight mode) as well as protecting the switch on/off button. We are touch with the FAA over the issue, and if it revisits these guidlines, we will also issue a fresh advisory on the use of device,” the official said.

The FAA guidelines issued on September 16 “prohibit air cargo shipments of recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices, and passengers may not turn on or charge the devices when they carry them on board a plane. Passengers must also protect the devices from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and must not pack them in checked luggage.”

The DGCA, in a public notice on September 12, had advised air travellers “not to turn on or charge the device and also not to stow them in their check-in baggage.”

However, it later allowed passengers to use the device purchased after September 15 which has “green battery charge indication”. The ban remains on Galaxy Note 7 having a white battery charge indication on the screen and manufactured before September 15, which has seen battery overheating.

A Southwest Airline flight from Louisville International Airport in Kentucky to Baltimore was reportedly evacuated on Wednesday after a passenger’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone began smoking shortly before takeoff.

Samsung had said there was no evidence that this incident was related to the new Note 7 and that they were probing the matter.

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South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co expects third-quarter profit grew 5.6 percent, beating estimates, as a pickup in chip and display earnings likely offset the impact of a global smartphone recall that has roiled the tech giant.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker said in a brief filing on Friday its operating profit for July-September was likely KRW 7.8 trillion ($7 billion), compared with the KRW 7.4 trillion tipped by a Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of analysts’ forecasts. A year earlier operating profit was KRW 7.4 trillion.

The firm won’t issue full results until late October and gave no details on the cost of recalling about 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones after batteries caught fire. Analysts have said the Galaxy Note 7 woes – rumbling on with Wednesday reports of a smoking battery in a replacement device – could have undercut mobile earnings by at least KRW 1 trillion (roughly Rs. 5,986 crores).

Revenue for the quarter likely fell 5.2 percent to KRW 49 trillion (roughly Rs. 2,93,352 crores), the South Korean firm said, less than the Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of KRW 51.1 trillion.

“Obviously the Galaxy Note 7 recall costs were reflected but (business) segments such as memory and Oled (organic light-emitting diode) displays did well and will probably continue to do so until at least next year,” said IBK Asset Management fund manager Kim Hyun-su.

Samsung’s semiconductor business – the world’s top memory chip maker – is thriving as Apple and peers boost the global market, seeking chips for new iPhones and other products launched ahead of the peak year-end sales season. Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor Plc, an iPhone chip supplier, said on Thursday its revenue beat expectations.

Galaxy Note 7 Chip Boost?
Ironically, the Galaxy Note 7 problems could also boost Samsung’s chip business. Industry executives say the sudden need for chips in 2.5 million replacement phones is exacerbating already tight memory market conditions, which could push prices higher.

Paul Romano, chief operating officer at US-based electronic component distributor Fusion Worldwide, said the firm’s clients, which include Samsung, are currently having a harder time procuring memory chips. Some smartphone makers are also trying to secure more of the chips as they see an opportunity capitalise on Samsung’s mis-steps and boost handset sales, Romano said.

“Sometimes this creates a seize mentality – everyone tries to manage the risk,” said Romano. “Often the response is to procure new product, trying to grab what’s left of a shrinking pile of supply.”

Researcher TrendForce says contract prices for DRAM chips – used in temporary data usage – will rise by more than 10 percent in October-December. Demand is outpacing supply in the market for NAND chips used for long-term data storage during the third quarter, the researcher added, tipping prices to continue rising.

Samsung shares were up 0.5 percent at KRW 1.7 million at 0220 GMT (7:50am IST), compared with 0.3 percent fall for the broader market.

The stock touched a record high of KRW 1.716 million on Thursday after Samsung said it was “carefully reviewing” the proposals by activist investor Elliott Management for a radical corporate makeover that would split Samsung Electronics into a holding vehicle for ownership purposes and a separate operating company.

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Samsung could face an unusual second recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones if one that caught fire aboard an airliner this week is a replacement device as its owner says, two former US safety officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are investigating Wednesday’s incident, when a passenger’s phone emitted smoke on a Southwest Airlines Co. plane readying for departure from Louisville, Kentucky. A flight attendant doused it with a fire extinguisher, and the plane was evacuated without injury.

“If it’s the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I’m going to guess there’ll be another recall,” said Pamela Gilbert, a former executive director of the consumer agency. “That just doesn’t sound right.”

Samsung has been engulfed in crisis since the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones began to burst into flames just days after hitting the market in August. The Suwon, South Korea-based company announced last month that it would replace all 2.5 million phones sold globally at that point. Samsung said it had uncovered the cause of the battery fires and that it was certain new phones wouldn’t have the same flaws.

The first indications of the existing recall’s financial impact could be seen Friday with the company’s release of earnings that rose at the slowest pace in five quarters. Operating income increased just 5.5 percent to KRW 7.8 trillion ($7 billion or roughly Rs. 46,812 crores) in the three months ended September 30.

China incident
The US safety commission could decide as early as next week on what steps to take, said Gilbert, a partner in Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP in Washington. “This is not something you want to leave hanging out there,” she said.

Nancy Nord, a former acting chairwoman of the safety commission, said a second recall doesn’t happen very often.

“Certainly they could do another recall, if it appears this is something beyond an aberration,” she said.

“They need to determine if this was a remediated phone, and if so why did this happen?” said Nord, who is of counsel at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC in Washington.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson declined to comment on what action may be taken.

Bloomberg News last week interviewed a customer in China who said his new Galaxy Note 7 had exploded less than 24 hours after it was delivered. The company said it was investigating the incident.

The owner of the phone involved in Wednesday’s incident told investigators it was a replacement Galaxy Note 7, said Captain Kevin Fletcher of the Louisville Metro Arson Squad.

Arson squad
“Due to the damage to the phone itself, we have not been able to physically confirm that yet,” Fletcher said during an interview. “We’re in the process of trying to attempt that.”

Samsung and US officials announced the recall after 92 reports of batteries overheating in the US, with 26 cases involving burns.

Samsung, FAA and Consumer Product Safety Commission representatives were in Louisville and working with arson investigators, Fletcher said. The phone remains in the possession of the arson squad, which is trying to schedule laboratory tests on the phone. It hasn’t been determined where or when those tests will occur, Fletcher said.

There was “extensive heat damage” to the phone and the plane’s carpet, he said.

Brian Green, the phone’s owner, told WAVE television news in Louisville that he got a replacement phone at a retail store after receiving an e-mail about the recall. “It was a good phone, by all indications, from all the information Samsung provided,” Green said. “But it just had its issues.”

Billowing smoke
On the plane, he turned the phone off and put it in his pocket. The device made a popping sound and sent “smoke just billowing out of my clothes,” Green said. He dropped it to avoid getting hurt.

Samsung said in a statement Wednesday that it couldn’t confirm that the incident involved the new phone but would have more information after examining the device. The company didn’t offer an update Thursday and a spokeswoman had no immediate reply to a request for comment on the possibility of another recall.

The CPSC and Samsung have a range of options, from a broad new recall if systemic flaws are discovered in the replacement devices to no action if they don’t find any broader safety issues.

While the safety agency has legal authority to order recalls, that requires court action and could take months. Instead, it almost always operates in collaboration with companies, as it did with Samsung.

Apple competitor
Samsung had raced to complete the introduction of the Galaxy Note 7 before Apple could unveil its new iPhone 7. The Galaxy Note 7 features a larger battery that can store more power than its predecessor.

A battery supplier made the power packs slightly too large for the phone’s compartment, the consumer safety commission said when announcing the recall September 15. As a result, the battery components were sometimes pinched, which could cause a short circuit, according to the agency.

Rechargeable lithium-ion cells like those in the Samsung phones are made with highly flammable chemicals. When they fail, they can generate intense heat or sparks that can ignite those chemicals.

The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization earlier this year banned bulk shipments of lithium-ion cells from passenger flights after tests showed that they could violently explode even after being doused with fire extinguishers.

[“source-ndtv”]

A replacement model of the fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone began smoking inside a US plane on Wednesday, the family that owns it said, prompting fresh investigations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A problem with the replacement for the Galaxy Note 7 model would create a new, embarrassing and potentially costly chapter to a global scandal which has hurt Samsung’s reputation. It also could add new dangers for consumers.

Indiana passenger Brian Green’s phone began emitting smoke inside a Southwest Airlines Co flight to Baltimore from Louisville, Kentucky, his wife Sarah told Reuters after speaking with her husband. She said that Green had replaced the original phone about two weeks ago after getting a text message from Samsung.

Samsung said in a statement it was working to recover the device and to understand the cause. “Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Galaxy Note 7,” the South Korean company said.

The world’s largest smartphone maker announced a global recall of at least 2.5 million of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets last month due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in touch with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Samsung and the phone’s owner to gather facts, Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement, reminding consumers that they could get refunds for the troubled model.

The FAA said in a statement that it had confirmed a Samsung phone caused the smoke on the Southwest flight and that it was investigating the incident.

Technology news site The Verge, which earlier reported the incident, quoted Brian Green as saying the phone was a replacement, and it posted a picture taken by him of the packaging. The picture showed an identifying label with a black box, which Samsung has described as the indicator of a replacement phone. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the picture.

Samsung customers in China have reported problems with phones that have the same battery as the global replacement model, but Samsung has said it examined the Chinese phones and found the batteries were not at fault.

Green picked up the new phone at an AT&T Inc store on Sept. 21, the Verge said.

Southwest said the plane was evacuated after a customer reported smoke from a Samsung device. All passengers and crew exited the plane and no injuries were reported, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.

[“source-ndtv”]


While Samsung is busy putting out fires (literally) on the Galaxy Note 7 recall, other smartphone makers are getting the most out of Samsung’s misery. The latest to take a dig at the South Korean giant is LG. The company’s customer care department seems to be randomly sending messages to users ahead of the Diwali festival with a friendly, yet mocking message.

The message – “Heard the news of exploding products? At LG, our products go through multiple tests to ensure safety of our most valuable asset – YOU. Have a safe Diwali with LG.” – is a clear jab at the recent news of exploding Galaxy Note 7 devices from Samsung.

Samsung officially announced a recall of its Galaxy Note 7 on September 2. Reports of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones catching fire has resulted in an unprecedented recall, costing the company billions of dollars. Samsung has been slowly replacing affected Galaxy Note 7 devices and said on Thursday more than 1 million people globally are now using Galaxy Note 7 smartphones with batteries that are not vulnerable to overheating and catching fire.
In September, Lenovo-owned Motorola also took a jab at Samsung when it offered free Incipio offGRID Power Pack with every Moto Z Droid purchase with a quote that read “At Moto, our priority is safety first. Unlike some manufacturers, we adhere to the highest standards in quality and testing of all our batteries.”

The LG V20 is ready to go on sale this month and it looks like the company is hoping Samsung’s recent tragedy will attract customers over to its side. LG India’s Managing Director, Kim Ki-Wan, confirmed to Gadgets 360 that the company plans to bring the LG V20 smartphone to India soon, perhaps just in time for the Diwali festival.

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The successor of the Xiaomi Mi Note has been rumoured for quite a while now, and now a fresh teaser leak confirms that the official unveil may not be too far. The teaser shows an outline of the Mi Note 2, and confirms previous rumours of a dual camera setup at the back.

This latest teaser poster surfaces again on Weibo (via PlayfulDroid), and shows a black colour variant of what is purportedly the Xiaomi Mi Note 2. The leak reaffirms that the smartphone will sport the dual camera setup at the back, but apart from that, it offers no other clarity. The Mi Note 2 has been rumoured for several months, and was even recently expected to launch on September 14, but that didn’t happen either.

Just last week, Xiaomi also took the wraps off the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus smartphones in China. They both sport a metal build, and the larger Mi 5s Plus sports a dual camera setup at the back as well. The two smartphones are also powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 SoC.
With respect to the Mi Note 2, there’s little left to the imagination, as most of its specification details have been tipped online. The smartphone is expected to sport a dual-edge screen just like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and a dual camera setup just like the iPhone 7 Plus. It is tipped to come in an all-metal body, and pack a 5.5-inch Oled screen.

The Mi Note 2 is expected to come in 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage and 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage bundles and be priced at CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,000) and CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 28,000) respectively. The smartphone is said to be powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC, and pack a 3600mAh battery. It’s anticipated to sport two speaker grilles at the bottom, and have a fingerprint sensor at the front.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has slammed South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co for what it said was “discrimination” against China consumers in its handling of a global recall of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to replace batteries.

In a commentary piece posted on its website on Thursday evening, CCTV said Samsung’s behaviour in China after the September 2 recall of 2.5 million phones was “full of arrogance”.

CCTV said a video apology Samsung issued to US consumers, along with various replacement options and compensation, was in stark contrast to its treatment of those in China, where the company issued a brief statement saying most phones didn’t need to be replaced. “Samsung’s discriminatory policy has caused discontent from Chinese consumers,” it said.

Samsung China didn’t immediately responded to requests for comment on the CCTV criticism.

The CCTV criticism may provide an unwelcome distraction for Samsung as seeks to bolster its position in the world’s largest smartphone market. Once the number 1 mobile phone vendor in China, Samsung dropped out of top 5 in 2015, hit by the strong growth of domestic brands like Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo.

A number of big-name global consumer brands have fallen foul of the influential broadcaster’s blasts in recent years, prompting firms from German automaker Volkswagen AG to Samsung rival Apple to undertake strenuous efforts to bolster their image.

Earlier in September, after a meeting with China’s quality safety watchdog, Samsung China issued a brief statement saying 1,858 Galaxy Note 7 devices sold in the country as part of a test scheme before the official launch would be recalled.

Most Galaxy Note 7s on sale in China have batteries from a different supplier and are not part of its global recall of 2.5 million phones announced on September 2, Samsung said.

But after anecdotal reports of a handful of Note 7s catching fire in the mainland, Samsung China issued a statement on Thursday apologising to Chinese consumers for a “lack of sufficient explanation” on what it said were safe Note 7 phones in China.

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Samsung Electronics Co said on Tuesday it has got back around 60 percent of recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold in South Korea, the United States and Europe, suggesting it is making progress in its attempts to recover from the crisis.

In a statement, Samsung said it was focused on replacing all affected devices “as quickly and efficiently” as possible and reiterated its request that customers affected by the current recall should power off their device and turn them in.

The world’s top smartphone maker announced on September 2 a global recall of at least 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire. The company says replacement devices it began issuing in mid-September use safe batteries.

Samsung hopes to take the faulty products off the market as soon as possible in order to limit further damage to its reputation and resume sales of the flagship device ahead of the key holiday shopping season in major markets such as the United States.

But the nearly month-long recall process has provided additional stumbles and embarrassment for the firm. Reports of Galaxy Note 7 fires and damages have continued after the recall announcement, while aviation authorities around the world issued warnings or outright bans on the use or charging of the Note 7 on aircraft.

Samsung was also forced to push back the start of Galaxy Note 7 sales in South Korea by three days to October 1 due to relatively slow progress in the recall in its home market.

Samsung Europe said the rapid response to the company’s exchange offer, which only started early last week in the region, gave the company confidence it can move to re-start sales of new models in key European markets by October 28.

As of Monday, 57 percent of Galaxy Note 7 owners had swapped for new devices, Samsung Europe said. Galaxy Note 7s were available for pre-order only days before the recall, limiting the number sold in the region, it said. Most of the devices to be recalled in the region were in Britain, France and Germany.

Some analysts say the cost of the recall and lost sales could wipe off nearly $5 billion in revenues for Samsung this year. Samsung said around 90 percent of customers who turned in their devices through the exchange programme have opted for a replacement Galaxy Note 7, but it remains unclear how strong demand from new customers would be when sales resume.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 has achieved yet another milestone as the company claims that the smartphone has become the bestselling online phone in India. According to a tweet by the company, 2.3 million units of the smartphone have been sold to date. To recall, the Redmi Note 3 was launched back in March in India.

The Chinese company claims that a unit of Redmi Note 3 is sold every 7 seconds in India and that one out of every nine smartphones shipped online is a Redmi Note 3.

In order to celebrate this feat by the smartphone, the company is organising a contest that allows users to win Redmi Note 3 or coupons by playing a game. In the game, the players are asked to type the sentence given by the company in less than seven seconds. Users will get three chances per day till Thursday.

If you fail to type in first three attempts, you can get more chances by sharing the company’s post on Facebook. Users are allowed to take advantage of this chance twice a day. Any user can have up to 9 chances a day.

Last month, the company announced that it had shipped 1.75 million units of the Redmi Note 3 in just five months of its launch. The company further pointed to an IDC report that said it had shipped 880,000 units of the smartphone in the online channel in Q2 2016.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 packs a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. The smartphone is powered by 1.4GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM.

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