AT&T Ponders Ending All Galaxy Note 7 Sales At Its Retail Stores

The Galaxy Note 7 might be a lost cause for Samsung. Following a global recall due to overheating batteries and a report of a replacement device going up in smoke on a grounded Southwest Airlines plane, AT&T, the second largest wireless carrier in the United States behind Verizon, is considering halting sales of Galaxy Note 7 devices altogether.

Sprint, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., recently announced it would exchange replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices with any other smartphone. But if AT&T decides to go ahead and yank the troubled smartphone from its shelves, it's easy to envision other carriers following suit. Even if they don't, losing AT&T's sales would be a blow to Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The South Korean electronics maker is aware of the situation and issued a statement saying it understands the concern that both carriers and consumers.

"We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible. We remain in close contact with the CPSC throughout this process. If we conclude a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation. We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we appreciate their patience as we work diligently through this process," Samsung said.

The good news for Samsung is that its Galaxy Note 7 debacle hasn't be devastating to its bottom line. Stellar performance from its semiconductor and display businesses have helped the company weather the storm. Ahead of releasing its full earnings report later this month, Samsung provided some preliminary figures, saying it expects to report an operating profit of 7.8 trillion won (around $7 billion in U.S. currency). That's up from 7.4 trillion won a year ago.