Samsung offers loan devices to all Note7 users in Singapore as second recall looms

A Galaxy Note7 smartphone on display at a Samsung showroom in Seoul. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Samsung Galaxy Note7 customers in Singapore, including those who own the supposedly safe replacement phone, may now request for a loan device of a different model, fuelling expectations that the phone may be recalled a second time.

The offer follows a notice put out by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Samsung earlier on Tuesday (Oct 11) asking consumers to stop using the device over fire concerns among even the replacement handsets. Samsung had also temporarily halted production of its new flagship device that was meant to rival the new iPhone 7.

In a media statement, a Samsung spokesman in Singapore said: "Samsung Electronics Singapore is in talks with our telecommunication operator and retail partners to work out a resolution for our Galaxy Note7 customers. Details of the remedy will be shared very soon.

"In the meantime, Galaxy Note7 customers who require a courtesy device on loan (subject to stock availability) can visit the Samsung Customer Service Centre at Westgate (level 3) during operating hours."

On Tuesday, the world's largest smartphone maker also asked all global carriers to stop sales of the Note7 while it worked with regulators to investigate the problem.

"Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device," Samsung had said in statement.

This follows a handful of reports of overheating and smoking in replacement devices, including one which caused a Southwest Airlines flight at Louisville International Airport to be evacuated on Oct 5.

Based on the latest update on Samsung's Note7 recall website for US customers, the replacements are being recalled too.

Some tens of thousands of customers in Singapore had exchanged their faulty Note7 for a replacement set, in a worldwide recall of the phones in September sparked by incidents in which they caught fire. A small number of Singapore consumers even had to exchange the phones twice - after replacements were found to overheat and rapidly drain power while being charged.

Samsung was slated to resume sales of the phone by the end of October here.

The premium Note7, launched in August, received rave reviews. It sports a new iris scanner, S Pen stylus and water and dust resistant features.

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