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Carriers Start Pulling the Plug on Note 7

Editors' Note: Updated on 8:53 a.m. ET with reports that Samsung is halting production on the Note 7, and that Verizon is suspending sales and trade-ins of replacement Note 7 smartphones.

At least three carriers aren't waiting around for Samsung to sort out issues involving the Note 7 phone, as they've halted sales of Samsung's trouble-plagued phablet.

AT&T announced yesterday (Oct. 9) that it would no longer give out new Note 7s to customers exchanging the recalled phone; instead, customers will be able to exchange their phones for any other smartphone. T-Mobile followed suit, announcing a temporary halt on Note 7 sales. Customers will able to exchange their Note 7 for a new phone or a full refund from the Uncarrier, which will also give them a $25 credit.

Later that night, Verizon joined in, telling The Verge it is suspending the exchange of replacement Note 7 devices. In a statement, the company announced that "Any Verizon customer concerned about the safety of their replacement Note 7 smartphone may take it back to the original point of purchase to exchange it for another smartphone."

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Samsung, too, may be acknowledging there's an issue with the replacement phones. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported tonight that the electronics giant was temporarily halting production on the Note 7.

That freeze on sales comes after an increasing number of incidents reportedly involving the new batch of Note 7 devices released after Samsung had recalled the original Note 7. That first phone was recalled in September after a manufacturing problem at one of Samsung's suppliers led to the Note 7's battery overheating and catching fire. Samsung said it fixed the problem and began selling replacement phones in late September.

But those phones have started having similar problems, according to Note 7 owners. A Southwest Airlines flight had to be evacuated last week when a supposedly safe Note 7 began smoking. At least three other incidents have been reported since then in Minnesota, Virginia and Kentucky. The Note 7 owner in that latter incident claims to have also gotten a text message from Samsung that suggests the phone maker was looking to downlplay the incident.

In a statement sent to Tom's Guide on Friday, a Samsung spokesperon said that it would "continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible" and that it would "take immediate steps to address the situation" if it concludes that there's a problem with the replacement Note 7s. As of Sunday night, it sounds as if wireless carriers are starting to take those steps on their own.

We'll update this story as more information about the Note 7 becomes available.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.