Just last night a report came out that Samsung, at least on US Cellular, was planning to disable remaining Galaxy Note 7 units. Now, the company has officially confirmed those actions for every remaining Galaxy Note 7 in the United States.
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Starting on December 19th, Samsung will begin rolling out an update to remaining Note 7 units to disable their ability to charge and eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices. This update will roll out to all unlocked and carrier variants of the phone within 30 days, or by mid-January.
Samsung confirms in the statement that approximately 93% of Galaxy Note 7 units in the United States have been returned so far, but with this new action, Samsung will likely get that number even closer to 100%. The full statement follows:
Consumer safety remains our highest priority and we’ve had overwhelming participation in the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program so far, with more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note7 devices returned.
To further increase participation, a software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days. This software update will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices. Together with our carrier partners, we will be notifying consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.
Anyone who has not yet returned their device should immediately power it down and contact their carrier to obtain a refund or exchange, or visit our website at Samsung.com/us/note7recall for more information.
Update: Verizon has announced that it will not be pushing this update to Note 7 customers on its network citing the “added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to.” It’s not hard to see the reasoning behind this, but personally, I’m against Verizon skipping this update. You can read the full statement below.
In October, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 when it was discovered that all available devices could overheat and pose a safety risk to customers. Since that time, a vast majority of Verizon customers who purchased the Note7 have replaced their phones with other models.
Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note7 that would stop the smartphone from charging, rendering it useless unless attached to a power charger. Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.
Verizon and Samsung have communicated the need for customers with a Note7 to immediately stop using their devices and return or exchange it where they purchased it. Verizon customers with the Note7 have several options, including an additional $100 from Samsung when purchasing one of their other devices.