Samsung kicks off Galaxy Note 7 exchanges

Following the global recall of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung starts swapping devices in the UK. Customers in the US must wait a little longer.

Samsung's Note 7 exchange program is off to a slow start.
Sarah Tew

Samsung on Monday kicked off its exchange program for potentially dangerous Galaxy Note 7 phones, in the UK and Ireland at least.

The company says it has fixed the battery flaw that caused multiple devices to burst into flames and will start issuing Note owners with replacement devices this week.

The UK is one of the first countries to receive new shipments of Note 7 devices. Customers in the US will not be able to begin trading in their phones for fresh versions until Wednesday, September 21 (see our FAQ for full details).

Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 in late August, just a few weeks before Apple's iPhone 7 unveiling. The Note 7 garnered positive reviews, but it wasn't long before some of the devices began overheating. Samsung quickly halted sales of the device and began working with government agencies and cellular carriers on plans for refunds and exchanges.

The company had manufactured 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices, of which 1 million had been sold.

Last week the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for all Note 7 phones sold in the country before September 15.

In the UK, sales of the Galaxy Note 7 were halted before September 2, so the only affected customers are those who preordered the device. Samsung says if they haven't already heard from the place they bought their phone, they should get in touch with the retailer to organize a swap.

"Our absolute priority is the safety of our customers -- that's why we are asking all Galaxy Note 7 customers to act now and exchange today," said Conor Pierce, vice president of mobile for Samsung in the UK and Ireland.

Pierce apologized to customers "for not meeting the standard of product excellence." He's confident, he said, that by exchanging their device "customers can expect to enjoy a smartphone experience of the very highest quality."