Samsung Bricked Remaining Galaxy Note 7 through a Software Update

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 15 Dec 2016

The U.S Update and Recall

Update 12/15/16: Verizon reversed course and announced it would deliver the update in January 2017. This article had been updated to reflect this news.

The days are numbered for the last remaining Galaxy Note 7 holdouts. To safeguard any devices still in circulation, Samsung announced. It will push out a software update to prevent charging, effectively bricking the beleaguered handset.

In a press release, Samsung said that it has had overwhelming participation in the Note7 U.S. recall program. Some 7 percent of devices remained in customers’ hands. Starting December 19, 2016, and continuing over the following 30 days. The company would work with carriers to ensure that any outstanding devices are rendered inoperable and returned. However, it remained to be seen how smoothly the rollout would go.

Why the Carriers Refuse and then Back Down

In a statement released shortly after Samsung’s announcement, Verizon initially said it would not participate in the update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users. That do not have another device to switch to. However, Samsung has since changed its tune, announcing that the update will indeed be delivered to customers on January 5,2017.

Additionally, CNet reported that all other major carriers participated in the update. With T-Mobile’s update on December 27, AT&T’s coming on January 5, and Sprint was delivering its update on January 8.

The update coincides with a move by Samsung to place functional limitations on battery charging, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. In Canada and restrict access to any Canadian cellular network.

After Samsung’s voluntary recall of the device failed to stop the phones from catching fire and exploding, the U.S. government issued an official recall of the Note7 in September to prevent further incidents. Samsung had been mum on what caused the issue, but signs point to a case that was too thin for the battery.

The UK and Australia Update

Samsung also plans to disseminate updates to the remaining Note7 users in the U.K. and Australia as it continues to tie up loose ends. Beginning on December 15, the company says that all U.K. devices will receive a new battery software update. And that will limit the maximum charging capacity to 30 percent. While Samsung Australia is working with local telecommunications operators. And discontinue Australian network services for Galaxy Note7 devices still being used.

The Impact on You at Home

Give it up if you are one of the people still clinging to your Galaxy Note7. This is a safety issue; Samsung is doing the right thing to ensure all Note 7s are safely returned. Those who still have one can find Samsung’s guidelines for returning it here.