Samsung stops Note 7 swap in Taiwan

South Korean smartphone brand Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday that it has stopped exchanges of its latest phablet -- the Galaxy Note 7 -- for new devices in Taiwan after several of the replacement devices exploded around the world.

Samsung Taiwan said those consumers in Taiwan who still own the original Note 7 or have a replacement models should keep their devices powered off for the moment.

The South Korean vendor said it will soon announce the details about a refund, a replacement of the controversial smartphone model, or an exchange for other Galaxy models in Taiwan, and noted that it is in the process of negotiating refund and exchange policies with its Taiwanese distributors.

The Note 7 exchange in Taiwan kicked off on Sept. 13 as part of Samsung's global exchange program after several incidents of the newly unveiled model catching fire due to overheating batteries were reported worldwide.

As the global exchange program proceeded, new explosions were reported involving the replacement devices, prompting Samsung to stop the swap and call for Note 7 users to turn off their phones.

Over the weekend, local newspaper Apple Daily reported that a replacement model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploded in Taiwan.

It said a young female user was walking her dog in a park in Taipei on Friday when she found smoke was spewing from her replacement Note 7, which the woman said she had picked up just 10 days earlier.

Explaining that consumer safety has always been its top priority, Samsung said it has asked all of its distributors and partner telecom operators around the world, including in Taiwan, to stop the sale of new Note 7 and suspend exchanges for new models.

Samsung said it is working closely with Taiwanese telecom regulators to come up with necessary measures to solve the problem.

About 2.5 million units of the Note 7 had been sold worldwide since it going on sale in August before the explosions began to occur.

International business media reported Tuesday that despite the move to stop sales and exchanges of the Note 7, Samsung remains mum on whether it will suspend production of the phablet.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel