Samsung gelds Note 7 battery capacity to limit fire risk


— 2:27 PM on September 13, 2016

If you've recently spent any time online, you've almost certainly heard about all the fireworks surrounding Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 handsets and the company's related product recall. At least for its South Korean customers, Samsung has stoked its forge and crafted a software fix to limit the battery capacity of existing Note 7s to 60%. That move might reduce the likelihood of the phones spontaneously combusting, but it seems more likely to annoy stubborn users into exchanging their devices for new phones without the fire risk.

According to the Associated Press, the fix was advertised in a South Korean newspaper and will be rolled out on September 20. There's currently no word on whether or when that patch will be deployed in other territories, but given the inflammatory nature of the situation, we guess it may not be long.

Here's the whole backstory, in case you're not up to speed. An estimated 2.5 million Note 7s came out of the factory with a battery defect that can cause them to short internally and burn while charging. Samsung has since then fired up a product recall and recommended that customers stop using their devices, but apparently not every buyer got the memo—assuming they're not too stubborn to bother with the exchange in the first place. Reports are coming in about multiple smoky incidents involving the device, and the FAA even went as far as to advise travelers against using their devices on aircraft. The AP says Samsung has received reports of over 70 incidents in the U.S. alone.

Owners of the Galaxy Note 7 can exchange their phones for a loaner at "select retail and carrier outlets" until stock of Note 7s without the problem comes in. Samsung has said users would begin recieving new devices this week, but that deadline has blown past already, likely leaving many people fuming. For what it's worth, the AP says that Samsung expects to start shipping replacements on September 19 in South Korea. US customers can also exchange a Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge today if they'd rather not wait. The company is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to produce a "voluntary corrective action plan" that might streamline the exchange process, as well.

 
   
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