Samsung has "temporarily paused" shipments of replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones to at least one carrier partner, according to an internal memo from Australian carrier Telstra obtained by The Verge. The memo advises of changes to the Note 7 Global Exchange program, revealing that Samsung has halted supply of Galaxy Note 7 phones to the carrier after reports of fires in the US.
It goes on to note that Samsung is "confident" in the Note 7 and has "no reason to believe it’s not safe." This is a good — albeit delayed — first step from Samsung and follows an announcement from US carrier AT&T that the company will no longer sell the Galaxy Note 7 to customers.
Telstra has been working to obtain replacement stock of the Note 7 for recalled phones and has not reached the point where it could sell the Note 7 to new customers. To this point, all replacement Note 7 handsets received by the carrier have been used for the recall. The phone is also not available for purchase on Telstra’s online store.
The full memo is below. We have contacted both Samsung and Telstra for comment on the memo and will update if we hear back.
Please be advised of some updates to the Samsung Note 7 Global Exchange program.
Samsung has temporarily paused the supply of new Galaxy Note7 smartphones following a reported incident in a replacement phone in the US. Samsung is confident in the replacement Note7 and says they have no reason to believe it’s not safe. We’ll let you know the status of your replacement Note7 as soon as we have more information.
We have contacted impacted customers to advise them of the delay.
Samsung said in a statement earlier today that it was "working diligently" to investigate reports that at least five of its replacement Galaxy Note 7 smartphones had caught fire in the US alone, while the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is running its own investigation.
If you own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 you should immediately stop using it and return it for a refund — all the major US carriers will exchange the phone, regardless of purchase date. We don’t know why Samsung hasn’t been more forthcoming about what’s going on with these replacement devices, but it doesn’t really matter. Until we get more information, the simplest explanation is the best one: The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a fundamentally defective product and it should be pulled from the market without delay.
"We have temporarily paused shipping replacement Galaxy Note7 smartphones to our customers while Samsung investigates reported incidents in the U.S. We have asked Samsung to provide us with an update on their investigations as a matter of priority and will update our customers as soon as we learn more," said a Telstra spokesperson in an emailed statement to The Verge. "In the meantime we are helping customers with loan phones and for those who do not wish to wait for the exchange program a change-over to an alternative smartphone."
Updated 10PM ET: Added statement from Telstra.