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Verizon May Shift Holiday Marketing Away From Note 7

October 10, 2016, 9:42 PM UTC
Samsung Unveils Its New Galaxy Note 7
A man holds a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 during a launch event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, August 2, 2016 in New York City. The stylus equipped smartphone will be available starting August 19, with preorders starting August 3.
Photograph by Drew Angerer—Getty Images

Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, may shift marketing away from Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone heading into the critical holiday selling season, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

Samsung (SSNLF), the world’s largest smartphone maker, announced a global recall of at least 2.5 million of its flagship Note 7 smartphones in 10 markets in early September due to faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire. There have also been reports that replacement phones have caught fire.

“We have the new iPhone, we’re about to launch the new Google (GOOG) Pixel, which is exclusive to us. We’ve got great phones from Motorola as well,” Verizon (VZ) spokeswoman Kelly Crummey said. “I think you’ll see our marketing focused on those devices because there is certainty on those at this time.”

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When asked in a subsequent interview to elaborate on the company’s marketing plans, Crummey said Verizon was awaiting results from a U.S. government investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 devices before finalizing its marketing budgets.

Verizon said on Monday it has suspended sales of the Note 7.

A spokeswoman for Samsung declined to comment.

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Last month, the agency issued an advisory to Note 7 users asking them to turn off or stop using the device.

Samsung Puts Temporary Ban on Galaxy Note 7 Production

The recall, the scale of which was unprecedented for Samsung, and reported incidents of replacement devices catching fire, are a costly setback for the phonemaker. It had been counting on Galaxy Note 7 to bolster sales as rivals such as Apple (AAPL) launch new devices.

Samsung Electronics suspended production the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, a source told Reuters.

Samsung announced the recall on Sept. 2. But similar problems arose with a replacement Note 7 on Oct. 5, which began smoking inside a Southwest Airlines flight in the United States.

Following the reports, U.S. wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S)announced that they have halted sales and exchanges of the Note 7. They are letting customers exchange the device for other phones.