The Samsung Note 7 is no longer allowed on airplanes, even as cargo, as the phone is officially banned by the Department of Transportation.
Samsung recalled the fire-prone device and sent out replacements before they, too, reportedly caught fire, leading Samsung to end production. Being officially banned on all flights in the United States represents the latest nightmare for Samsung caused by the faulty phone.
Here’s the official statement about the “emergency order”:
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), today announced it is issuing an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices from air transportation in the United States. Individuals who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device may not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States. This prohibition includes all Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices. The phones also cannot be shipped as air cargo. The ban will be effective on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at noon ET.
We still don’t know what effect this might have on Samsung’s relationship with Oculus, which controls the software that makes the high-quality Gear VR mobile platform possible. The Note 7 was positioned to be Samsung’s flagship VR-compatible phone heading into the critical holiday season, and developers may have hoped a great many more Gear VR owners would be buying software by the end of 2016. Instead, it is likely Google will get a boost to its Pixel phone and the Daydream View headset going into the holidays.
Samsung still sells other Gear VR-compatible phones, but those devices are older than the Note 7 and may not compete as well with the newly announced iPhone 7 or Pixel. Samsung has offered promotions in the past with the Gear VR offered free, and many Gear VR games are better with a gamepad. A bundle offering the Gear VR, gamepad and maybe even a few free games from Oculus would be a tempting offer for a Galaxy S6 or S7 come Black Friday. Obviously, it is going to be up to Oculus and Samsung to figure out how to lure buyers this holiday season with consumers thinking about phones which might explode.