Samsung Will Issue an Update to Disable All Galaxy Note 7 Handsets in the U.S.
Update: Samsung confirms that the update will be available starting Dec. 19, noting that 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note7 devices have been returned.
However, Verizon said today that it will not roll out Samsung's update. "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."
Verizon has been and is still encouraging Note 7 owners to return and exchange their devices. "Verizon customers with the Note 7 have several options, including an additional $100 from Samsung when purchasing one of their other devices," the carrier said.
Sprint will roll out the update, starting Jan. 8. "This software update will eliminate the ability of these Galaxy Note7 to work as mobile devices," Sprint said.
PCMag reached out to AT&T and T-Mobile about their Note 7 update plans, and will update as we hear back.
The Galaxy Note 7 is a smartphone Samsung wants everyone to forget about as soon as possible, but for now, the company is still trying to stop Note 7 handsets from being used due to the danger they pose. This is a handset that can explode, after all.
An image shared with The Verge shows an alert sent out to a Note 7 owner in the U.S. stating that their phone will no longer charge as of Dec. 15; a statement provided to The Next Web says December 19 (Ed's Note: 12/15 is for Europe; 12/19 for the U.S.). In other words, the Note 7 is being permanently disabled.
Samsung wants all Note 7 handsets returned, but around 285,000 are still in the hands of customers. Effectively bricking those phones should at least get some of them back, even if it means upsetting a few people who were happy to continue taking a risk. And it's not as if Samsung is just asking owners to give up the handset; a replacement phone will be offered.
If you know anyone who has held on to their Note 7, urge them to return it before next week. If you still want a Samsung-branded phone in your pocket, then our recommendation is the similar, but safe Galaxy S7 Edge.