This is not the news that Samsung would have wanted to hear, but is more than likely something that the South Korean company has been expecting in light of the recent Galaxy Note 7 issues. In what appears to be a response to a number of high profile explosion incidents involving replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices, AT&T is suspending all replacements of affected devices with like-for-like, and as well as stopping all future sales of the said device.
An earlier report by Bloomberg had previously floated the suggestion that a full halt of sales was on the cards for AT&T and other carriers.
Samsung had initially put in place a recall of Note 7 devices with battery issue in coordination with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, and then later starting offering supposedly safe replacement devices to consumers. But now a number of those replacements have also shown to suffer from exactly the same problem, with one of said devices actually catching fire while powered down on a Boeing 737 Southwest Airlines flight.
AT&T appears to have had enough with this, and as such has issued a statement via email confirming the decision:
Based on recent reports, we’re no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents. We still encourage customers with a recalled Note 7 to visit an AT&T location to exchange that device for another Samsung smartphone or other smartphone of their choice.
Rather than take the chance of replacing like-for-like with a device that is defective and runs the risk of causing the same problems, AT&T is now pushing customers down the route of either changing defective Galaxy Note 7 devices for an alternative Samsung smartphone, or even allowing them to switch to a different make and model altogether if their faith in Samsung is beyond repair.
If the latest reports are to be believed, then it looks as though T-Mobile is also in the process of making a similar announcement to AT&T shortly. T-Mobile too is in favor of moving away from offering replacements in favour of not dealing with the Galaxy Note 7 at all.
All of the major carriers in the United States who support the Galaxy Note 7 have previously offered replacements or full refunds for affected hardware. We imagine that it won’t be long until the other networks fall in line with the steps taken by AT&T and T-Mobile, and move away entirely from Samsung’s defective device. At this stage, it’s safe to say that Galaxy Note 7 line is pretty much done. It’s time to move on.
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