If you've caught a domestic or international flight any time over the last few months, you would have heard a pilot or cabin crew make an announcement about the Galaxy Note7 — specifically about how you're not allowed to have one of the potentially explosive devices on a plane.
Now that over 95 per cent of Note7s have been returned to Samsung in Australia — with just over 2000 devices left unaccounted for — it's hoping that Australia's airline safety watchdog will follow the US in removing the mandate for carriers to keep on reminding us about the Note7 every damn time we sit down on a plane.
This article was originally published on January 13 at 6:00PM.
More than 95 per cent of the 51,060 Galaxy Note7s sold in Australia have been returned to Samsung — around 48,500, leaving approximately 2500 in the hands of customers either unaware of the recall or unwilling to return them.
Those customers aren't able to use the phones on Australian networks, though, making them essentially $1349 paperweights. The maximum state of charge for Australian Galaxy Note7 batteries, too, was limited to 60 per cent by an over-the-air software update.
The most obvious and ongoing reminder of the global Galaxy Note7 recall headache for Samsung has been the tens of thousands of announcements daily at every airport worldwide — a constant reminder of the circa $3.4 billion cost of the mistake and its ongoing damage to the reputation of one of the world's largest technology companies.
But with the United States' FAA recently lifting the requirement for airlines to notify passengers about the Note7's continued dangerous existence, Samsung Australia has asked Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority to do the same. With the same "exceptionally high rates of participation" in the customer recall in Australia as in the US, it's likely that CASA will follow the FAA's lead and rescind the requirements for Qantas, Virgin and other Australian air carriers to make the precautionary announcement at the beginning of every domestic or international flight in Australia.
Here's Samsung Australia's most recent statement on the matter, just released to Gizmodo:
Samsung Australia has shared with Australian airlines and CASA, the US Federal Aviation Administration’s statement regarding its decision to remove the mandatory requirement for airlines to make specific Galaxy Note7 pre-boarding announcements and notifications regarding the prohibited air-transport of the device.
Given this announcement and the fact that more than 95 per cent of customers in Australia have returned their Galaxy Note7 to their original place of purchase, we hope there will be an update from Australian airlines and CASA in the coming days in relation to similar pre-boarding announcements and notifications in Australia.
On December 15, Samsung Australia in collaboration with local telecommunications regulators and our operator partners, discontinued Australian network services for the few remaining Galaxy Note7 devices. This means that customers are no longer able to use their Note7 in Australia to make calls, send messages or access data on the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone (and associated MVNO) mobile networks in Australia.