Samsung Electronics America has started an investigation into reports that a U.S. Senate staffer's smartphone had overheated. According to Megan Pollock, one of Samsung's senior directors, the company is attempting to recover the device from a staffer of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. However, at this time Pollock does not know if the device is a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's late 2016 device that has been removed from sale and recalled by the company because of overheating battery problems. The Wicker office have not responded for a comment regarding the incident although Pollock confirmed that Samsung have been working with Government agencies to have all Galaxy Note 7 devices returned: "I think we've gotten them all back, but you know, we're still hearing from them on some of the issues," she explained. She also stated that around 190 Galaxy Note 7 devices were sold to the U.S. Government but that Samsung were "still just tracking down and making sure."
The U.S. Government has used Samsung devices for a number of years now under a business-to-government scheme, with outgoing President Obama switching to a Samsung Galaxy S4 away from a BlackBerry device. Samsung are still investigating the reasons for the Galaxy Note 7's battery failure last summer and have promised to report back by the end of January 2017. Shortly after the device went on sale in August 2016, a number of customers reported that their handset had caught fire when being recharged. Samsung issued a recall and replacement of these devices, but the replaced device also suffered from the same issues. Samsung decided to recall all 3 million devices and issue customers with a full refund. Since then, we have seen a number of software updates that have reduced the functionality of the device, culminating in the most recent, which has disabled the Galaxy Note 7's battery.
Interestingly enough, the source website, Yahoo News, learnt of the issue with the Wicker staffer's device from an overheard telephone conversation between Pollock and another party on an Amtrak train heading into Washington, D.C. The Yahoo website stated that Pollock had expressed frustration and criticized "the state of Samsung's operations." Despite Pollock not knowing the handset at the center of the allegations, she discussed the Galaxy Note 7 recall. "I mean we had a recall, so they did not go well in general. It's really tough. I mean, the phones are – they are what they are. They're overheating." Samsung have issued a statement explaining that a Congressional staffer "had concerns about the temperature of their Samsung device" and encouraged the staffer to contact them at 1-800-SAMSUNG