Samsung said it is planning to issue a software update that will effectively kill outstanding Galaxy Note 7 devices, but U.S. wireless carrier Verizon said it won’t have a hand in dealing the death blow.
In a Friday release, Samsung said nearly 93 percent of all Galaxy Note 7 devices impacted by back-to-back recalls in September have been returned thus far. To motivate the stragglers, Samsung said it will release a software update on December 19 that will effectively render the devices useless by preventing their batteries from charging.
Samsung said it would be working with its “carrier partners” to distribute the release and encourage the remaining customers with recalled devices to turn in their phones.
But in a statement sent out shortly after Samsung’s release, Verizon said it won’t be distributing the killer software update to its customers.
“Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to,” Verizon’s Vice President of Global Corporate Communications Jeffrey Nelson said. “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.”
Nelson noted a “vast majority” of Verizon customers have already replaced their phones with other models and said a number of options exist for remaining Note 7 owners who want to turn in their device – including at $100 incentive for those who purchase another Samsung device.
Back in September, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was the subject of back-to-back recalls after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission looked into reports that battery issues caused the devices to overheat, catch fire, or explode. After the first recall, Samsung tried to fix the issue with the release of asecond, “safe” set of Note 7 phones, but the problem persisted. The company announced in October that it would end production of the Note 7 for good.