Samsung's latest Galaxy Note 7 phablet was expected to attract millions of smartphone enthusiasts. However, the battery issue with the phone left many disappointed customers. The handset maker has replaced the potentially hazardous devices and now faces a big challenge of transporting these units back to the manufacturer.
Many customers who bought the Galaxy Note 7 complained of battery exploding or catching fire while charging, which made the company to announce a global recall of the device. The device maker has replaced the faulty units; however, it now has to safely send the faulty units back to Samsung from various retail stores in the U.S.
Reports suggest that Samsung applied for a special permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to ship 137,000 unopened Galaxy Note 7 units lying at hundreds of retail locations in the United States.
The agency revealed that Samsung may use special thermally insulated packaging to transport the phones. The outer packing is specially designed to contain smoke or fire.
The Galaxy Note 7 was banned from use by many international airline operators and aviation agencies of various countries. Reports suggest that according to PHSMA permit, Samsung cannot ship the potentially dangerous units via airplanes.
The Korean smartphone maker declined to comment on how it's handling the collection and delivery of returned Galaxy Note 7 phone. U.S. Retailers such as Best Buy, Sprint and Verizon also declined to offer details on the transportation of faulty devices.
However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — the agency that oversees product recalls in the country — referred the queries to PHMSA and revealed that Samsung has been granted two permits to transport returned Galaxy Note 7's.
The first permit issued on Sept. 7 entitles Samsung to move the potentially dangerous units in thermal insulated packaging. The second permit issued on Sept. 15 allows [pdf] the company to move these units to Samsung facilities by road, rail or cargo vessel.
Samsung has lost more than $1 billion as a result of the recall. Moreover, the brand's reputation is also at stake. The latest recall also underscores the logistical challenges that a company has to face due to a recalled device. Analysts estimate that apart from the $1 billion recall cost, Samsung may lose another $5 billion in revenue.
Safe Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units are now widely available in the United States. via retailers and carriers.