Samsung is About to Disable Remaining Note7 Devices
posted Sunday Dec 11, 2016 by Scott Ertz
It's hard to believe that after more than 3 months and all the negative publicity over Galaxy Note7 handsets catching fire or exploding that there are any devices out in the wild, but there are. Samsung in also surprised, being as the company has had a recall program in place, and a software update that prevented the devices from charging fully. But that is about to come to an end.
In an update, which will begin to roll out on December 19, Samsung will prevent the remaining Note7 handsets from charging at all. That means that, if you still own one and are still using it after the update, once the phone's battery dies, you're done. No charging and, most importantly, no getting remaining data off of the phone without being tethered to a power source. The game will have ended for the Note7 as a phone.
Most of the industry believes this to be a smart and appropriate move from the phone maker. The devices pose a potential risk to users' health and safety and Samsung is trying to ensure that a mistake on their end does not ultimately cause harm to their customers. There is one major holdout, though, and it is Verizon. The company believes that the update actually causes risk to customers. In a statement, the carrier said,
Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note 7 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 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.
If that sounds reasonable to you, let me remind you that the recall has been going on for months, and Verizon had an in-store trade-in program, where an owner could walk out with a new device in their possession. The people who are still holding on to these potentially dangerous devices made the decision that responding to the recall in a timely manner was not important to their own cellular usage, because if the phone self-destructs, they will still be without a phone.
For Samsung, the important distinction here is that the responsibility for customer safety has officially shifted from them to Verizon. If something goes wrong with one of the handsets that Verizon did not require users to return, it will be their fault and not Samsung's, who has created steps to prevent the devices from going bad.
Whether you are on Verizon or another carrier and you still have a Note7, GET RID OF IT. There is absolutely no reason to still have one in your possession at this point. Give it back, take the credit, move on with your day.