Verizon on Thursday changed course on its public stance against a software update from Samsung that would essentially kill any remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices in consumers’ hands.
Though Verizon last week became the only carrier to announce it would not send the bricking update out to its customers, a notice appeared on the company’s Note 7 recall information page indicating it will push the update after all shortly after the new year.
According to the website, Verizon plans to distribute the update to its customers on January 5. The carrier said it intentionally chose that date – which is well after Samsung’s planned December 19 release of the software fix – to make sure customers can stay in contact with loved ones over the holidays.
“Verizon will not be pushing this software update to your device until January 5, 2017. We want to make sure you can contact family, first responders, and emergency medical professionals during the holiday travel season,” the company wrote in the FAQ section. “However, we urge you to stop using your Note 7, upgrade it to another device, and return the Note 7 to us.”
The update will go out on Verizon’s network the same day fellow Tier-1 carrier AT&T is planning to distribute the software. Sprint’s push will follow on January 8, while T-Mobile’s distribution will come well before on December 27.
Verizon said customers who want to get a new device before the update is released can do so by trading in their Note 7 regardless of its condition. Customers have the option to either get a refund of the phone’s purchase price – including any equipment charges, device payment charges, taxes, down payments, and accessories – or exchange the phone for a new device. Samsung is currently offering a $100 bill credit to customers who trade in the Note 7 and get another Samsung phone. Customers who upgrade to another smartphone brand will receive a $25 bill credit.