Dangerous smartphones: What Note 7 owners should do

(Source: ABC News)
(Source: ABC News)

NEW YORK (AP) – Samsung plans a software update for its Galaxy Note 7 designed to prevent the battery in the mobile phone from exploding or catching fire. The company is also offering replacements for the 2.5 million phones it’s sold globally, but a new Note 7 is not available yet. Here are three things Note 7 owners should do:

TURN IT OFF

Samsung has said that the phone should be turned off immediately. The company has said that of the 35 known cases where the phone has caught fire, as of Sept. 1, most happened while the phone was charging.

Its latest software update is meant to protect those consumers who are continuing to use the phone. The update for users in South Korea will start Sept. 20, and the company hasn’t said when it will be available in other countries.

TURN IT IN

The company has set up an exchange for people to replace their Note 7s. But the replacement phones won’t be available until Sept. 19 in South Korea, and it’s unclear when they’ll be available in the U.S. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it’s working with Samsung on an official recall, and the agency is figuring out if the replacement phones are an acceptable replacement for the dangerous ones.

But Samsung says U.S. users can replace Note 7s now with a different model – either a temporary one until the new Note 7 is available or a permanent switch for the company’s Galaxy series. Owners should do the swap at the store where they bought the phone or, if bought online, call the company at 1-800-726-7864 (that’s 1-800-Samsung).

AND MOST OF ALL, DO NOT USE ON A PLANE

The Federal Aviation Administration has warned passengers not to use the phone or charge it during a flight, and to keep it turned off. Several airlines have also banned the phone, or asked passengers not to check it with their bags.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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