US authorities have warned airline passengers to keep their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones turned off, and refrain from charging them, while they are on the plane.
Virgin Australia and Qantas have also issued the same warning, while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that passengers avoid packing the phones into their checked-in luggage.
This comes after reports surfaced of the new Galaxy Note 7 exploding while charging, or after it had been charged. The cause has been attributed to battery problems, Samsung said, but that it would be difficult to determine which phones were affected.
According to the South Korean technology giant, different companies supply the batteries for the phones, which could explain why working out which phones are affected will be difficult.
Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, said: “There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process, so it was very difficult to figure out. It will cost us so much it makes my heart ache. Nevertheless, the reason we made this decision is because what is most important is customer safety.”
Anyone who has already purchased the phone is being given the opportunity to swap it for a new one from Samsung.
Only released last month, approximately 2.5 million devices were sold globally, and they have generally received positive reviews.
The FAA said: “In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on-board aircraft, and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”
While this is slightly concerning news, nervous flyers can take comfort from the knowledge that this is simply a precautionary measure, and not in response to any incidents on any planes, at least.
Image courtesy of Ariel Gonzalez / YouTube