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Samsung Note 7: Vodafone and EE suspend exchanges

Samsung battery fire Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Samsung Note 7 handset caught fire during a lab test in Singapore

Vodafone and EE have suspended replacements of Samsung's Note 7 phones amid reports that new "safe" models are still at risk of catching fire.

The Three network is also not currently offering exchanges, while O2 said it was still not selling the smartphone.

Samsung has cut production of the Note 7 after several reports of replacement models overheating and emitting smoke.

The Note 7 went on sale in the UK days before Samsung issued a recall, and sales have so far been limited.

Over the weekend it emerged that a second Note 7 replacement device, deemed safe by the company, had caught fire in America.

"Following recent media reports of further Note 7 issues in the US and Canada, we have suspended Note 7 exchanges and are currently in direct contact with Samsung regarding next steps on the matter," EE said.

Image copyright Three

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A Vodafone spokesman said it had paused pre-orders of the Note 7 as well as its device replacement programme "until such time that we receive satisfactory assurances from Samsung about the safety of the Galaxy Note 7".

Three also told the BBC it was "currently assessing the situation with Samsung and we will be seeking guidance from them before we resume any further exchanges of the Note 7".

O2 said it has not been selling the phone since September, when Samsung advised there would be an exchange programme. "We are currently in discussions with Samsung and reviewing our options," it added.

Carphone Warehouse said it was also in talks with Samsung about the phone.

Off US shelves

The moves come after the three biggest US mobile operators, as well as networks in Australia and Asia, stopped replacing or selling the phone.

They took action after a man in Kentucky said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.

US networks AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile said they would no longer replace the devices, while the latter said it would halt all sales of the phone.

"While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices," T-Mobile said on its website.

Image copyright Brian Green
Image caption This Samsung phone led to a flight being evacuated

Meanwhile, AT&T said: "We're no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents." It advised customers to exchange them for other devices.

Samsung said on Monday that it was "adjusting the production schedule" in response to moves by the US and other networks.

"We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible," Samsung said.

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