If you’re still carrying around a Galaxy Note7, you should return it ASAP. As an extra incentive to US customers, on Friday Samsung announced that it will be issuing a software update to US Note7s that will prevent the phone from charging or working as mobile devices.
The move comes a little a month after Samsung capped charging on US Note7s at 60 per cent, and two months after Samsung fully recalled the phone because of explosions.
In the months since, Samsung has offered customers financial incentives to exchange their phones and has issued updates in various countries that have made the phones less useful. But even with the feds banning the phone on US flights (and airlines in other parts of the world following suit, including in Australia), there are still people that have decided to keep their exploding phones.
The good news for the rest of us is that with this update, they won’t have a choice. The phone will essentially be worthless.
Here is Samsung’s complete statement, emphasis ours.
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 per cent 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.
According to The Verge, service provider Verizon is refusing to pass along the update to Note7’s on it’s network.
Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to.
We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 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.