Samsung phone causes panic, fire hazards

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This year, the smartphone industry has been a mixed bag.

Although Google’s Pixel phone was released to underwhelming responses and the iPhone 7 from Apple left consumers wondering how to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time, no one has been struggling like Samsung has since the first reports emerged about their Galaxy Note 7 spontaneously combusting in users hands and pockets.

As of Oct. 11, 2016, Samsung has suspended production and sale of all Galaxy Note 7 devices.

On Samsung.com, there is a post outlining the safety recall and the ways consumers can contact retailers for a refund.

Samsung urges Galaxy Note 7 users to power down immediately and start sending the devices back for compensation.

On the heels of Samsung announcing the suspension of production on the Note 7, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced Oct. 14 that the Galaxy Note 7 is banned from all air transportation in the United States, effective the next day.Both original and replacement models pose a danger to its users.

The question that remains is what the lasting repercussions of this fiasco will be for Samsung. Although the company has incentives in place to keep users on Samsung devices, will the public start to distance itself from Samsung products?

Some smartphone users are already expecting this to have an effect on public perception and have seen it themselves.

“I think people will move to different brands,” said Cesar Vasquez. “ I have friends that have already switched.”

iPhone owner Jailene Maravilla said: “If I was a Samsung owner, I would switch to a new brand.”Apple has also seen issues in the past with their iPhones overheating, but not to the severity of the Note 7 models.

“A phone is supposed to be a luxury, but it might catch on fire and burn your hand … it’s too dangerous of a thing,” said traveling political consultant Briana Anthony. “That would make me want to switch [brands], and I think others would want to switch too.”

Not everyone has the same mindset however.

Samsung Galaxy s6 owner Aaron Barraza said he will continue to buy Samsung phones.

“I thought about it, and I really like the phone, so if they get the next one right, I will get it,” Barraza  said.

Samsung is currently investigating the cause of the malfunction.

Anyone found violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.

In the report from the DOT, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “…even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device is now considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations

“The fire hazard with the original Note 7 and with the replacement Note 7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. in the same report.