The United Arab Emirates' aviation authority has now banned the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in flights.
The Galaxy Note 7 has been criticized for battery issues that many customers have faced. The faulty battery results in fire when the phone is put on charge. Samsung has acknowledged to have received about three dozen complaints about the smartphone's battery catching fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has urged Galaxy Note 7 owners to stop using their device. In separate occasions, the smartphone's faulty battery has resulted in a car and a house to catch fire.
Many people carry their phones on flight for listening to music or playing games. Users also plug in their devices to the in-flight entertainment systems via USB for charging. Majority of the batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 have exploded or caught fire while being charged, which means that charging the Samsung mobile phone in planes poses a fire threat.
U.S., Singapore and Indian aviation authorities have already banned the use of the Galaxy Note 7 in planes due to the potential risk. Various airline operators in Australia have also disallowed the use of the phone in flights. Passengers can still carry the phone but are barred from using or charging it.
The UAE aviation authority has now joined the bandwagon and prohibited the use of Galaxy Note 7 from its national carrier Emirates.
"The General Civil Aviation Authority has banned operating, charging and carrying in bags the Samsung Note 7 on board national carriers' flights," says a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.
An Emirates spokesperson says that the instruction should be followed with immediate effect, adding that the ban in flights is a precautionary measure to avoid the possibility of causing fire.
Etihad, another airline based in the UAE, has also temporarily barred the Galaxy Note 7 in its flights.
Current owners of the smartphone with the faulty battery are offered a replacement device till the time Samsung substitutes old batteries with new ones.
Samsung has recalled 2.5 million of its new phablet, which is estimated to cost about $1 billion. The entire battery fiasco has not only cost money but has badly impacted the reputation of the Korean company, which has a number of other phones available in the market.
Apple has launched its latest iPhone 7 Plus, giving stiff competition to all phablets including the Galaxy Note 7. Given the battery problems, the Galaxy Note 7 will likely lose a major chunk of its sales to the latest Apple phablet.
Photo: Bulent Kavakkoru | Flickr