Samsung set to disable remaining Galaxy Note 7 handsets

If you're hanging onto your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and it hasn't yet turned into a mobile bonfire, it'll soon be little more than a brick. Samsung announced that it will soon issue an OTA update to "further increase participation" in its successful recall program. The update, set to roll out December 19, will disable both the handset's charging and "the ability to work as a mobile device."

After a disastrous launch that had the Galaxy Note 7 phones starting on fire in bedrooms and airplanes—and a first recall that didn't resolve the problem—Samsung decided to end production, asking that all owners of the phone return it directly to the company or their vendor for a full refund. The company has even been offering up $100 in credit to owners who bring their phones in.

Samsung says 93% of all Galaxy Note 7 phones have been returned. Of the roughly 1 million devices sold, that means that about 70 thousand are still out in the wild, either with users who somehow missed the memo or who decided to try to hang on to the phone. Aside from the whole catching-on-fire thing, the Note 7 was doing pretty well among both the press and consumers, after all.

As an additional note, Verizon has announced that it won't be rolling out this update, stating that it "could pose added risk to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to." The carrier said it doesn't want to make it impossible for Note 7 owners to contact family, first responders, or medical professionals in emergency situations.

If you haven't yet taken your Note 7 in, now is the time. The phone works for a little bit longer, and Samsung is still offering up those credits.

Comments closed
    • Lord.Blue
    • 3 years ago
    • ludi
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]The carrier said it doesn't want to make it impossible for Note 7 owners to contact family, first responders, or medical professionals in emergency situations.[/quote<] "Hello, 911? Yes, I need to report an emergency. My phone set my house on fire, and, well, I'll have to set it back down pretty quick as my hand-flesh seems to be melting."

    • tootercomputer
    • 3 years ago

    So these puppies are going to morph from fire hazards and become dangerous flying projectile as infuriated customers who just haven’t gotten around to replacing thir phones fling them with great force in utter rage and utter frustration when, say, their car breaks down on a busy freeway at rush hour and they discover their phone no longer works.

      • curtisb
      • 3 years ago

      How did we ever survive before mobile phones?

      Could be worse…car breaks down and their phone bursts into flames. The phone catches the car on fire and burns it down to the rims. Can’t sue Samsung because they’ve already issued a recall that you ignored. Insurance won’t cover it because you had a device known to spontaneously explode and for which there is a recall in the vehicle.

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    If this is really a battery dimension issue as some have theorized, wouldn’t there be a market for a third-party smaller battery? Grab the Note 7 on fire sale and then toss a battery in for a cheap flagship. If so, it’s a shame that they’re being bricked.

      • curtisb
      • 3 years ago

      I see what you did there.

    • sweatshopking
    • 3 years ago

    THE SONG OF ANYONE STILL WITH ONE OF THESE: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ[/url<]

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 years ago

      Thanks, bro. I love that.

    • Kougar
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]As an additional note, Verizon has announced that it won't be rolling out this update, stating that it "could pose added risk to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to." The carrier said it doesn't want to make it impossible for Note 7 owners to contact family, first responders, or medical professionals in emergency situations.[/quote<] Oh, and the phones don't already pose a greater risk to anyone living in the same house, same apartment building, taking the same bus or flying in a jet with a Note 7 stashed away in someone's luggage? How about putting the first responders lives at greater risk when they have to go put out another home on fire? Calling bullshit on Verizon, they just don't want to anger the last stubborn holdouts and risk the turnover.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 3 years ago

      I know from the inside that Verizon never has the customer’s interests at heart.

      They will talk it up, but they are absolutely 100% profit driven.

      If some math geek told them that the bigger payout came from forcing the update, they would be justifying that decision instead.

      The idea that Verizon considered the customer’s interests for a nanosecond longer than it took to assign a dollar value to their behavior—-well, it’s preposterous and laughable.

        • Ummagumma
        • 3 years ago

        What does your inside contact tell you about Verizon’s policy of making changes to the network around “peak sales periods” like the last half of December of any year?

        If they really are “inside”, then the correct answer should be “don’t mess with the network in any way that will negatively impact the customer’s experience”. It’s also called “network freeze”.

        I see this move by Verizon as a way of adhering to that “network freeze” policy even though those phones may be potentially dangerous. Said another way, it might be Verizon’s attempt to not “pi$$ off” the customer while hoping to get them to trade-in the Note 7 or buy another phone (replacing the Note 7). In order words, they are trying to keep the customer on their network and keep the revenue stream. Capitalist? Certainly, but also “business smart” since it likely costs Verizon less to keep that customer in this case compared to bringing in a new customer.

        If I were a Note 7 owner on the Verizon network I would really make plans to get “shut off” some time in the coming year, possibly as easy as sometime in January. Why? The network will be out of it’s “freeze” status so such changes are technically “fair game” to be made, or “pushed” in this case.

    • Major-Failure
    • 3 years ago

    “successful recall program” there’s any oxymoron if I ever heard one.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      Gotta put a positive spin on things!

      Though in this case, it makes sense. Once the phones were determined to be unfixable, the goal became minimizing the number of devices still out in the wild. If they’ve managed to do that, then the recall was “successful”.

      Or how about an analogy — would you have a problem with the use of the word “successfully” in the following hypothetical news item: “A careless worker at Joe’s Bar and Grill who was taking a cigarette break accidentally ignited a massive dumpster fire behind the establishment yesterday evening. Fortunately, some quick thinking by the kitchen staff enabled them to successfully bring the blaze under control before it could cause significant damage to adjacent structures.”

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 years ago

      It appears you have never heard one or read the definition, bro.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    install your own rom and disable all OTA updates. at least you get to keep the phone and service.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      I imagine they can probably still identify the model of the phone, even with custom ROMs installed. If people start doing what you suggest, they’ll eventually just block all Note 7s from the network.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Are there even custom ROMs? I’d think that all development would have stopped when the recall and cancelation happened.

      • kuttan
      • 3 years ago

      Why you need to keep a safety hazard phone with you ?

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 3 years ago

    A decade from now, I wonder how much an unburned Note 7 would be worth. Assuming one took the battery out, it’s probably a decent investment to sell to a collector in the future.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 3 years ago

      How much is an unburned Palm Pilot worth today?

    • VincentHanna
    • 3 years ago

    Can you not simply refuse to install the update?

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      Why would you want to continue carrying a potential incendiary device in your pocket? Even if it doesn’t catch fire, you’ll be stuck on whatever software version it is currently at (unless you root and install custom ROMs), and banned from commercial airline flights until you get another phone. What’s the point?

      Samsung is, in effect, willing to pay you $100 to trade the phone in. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 3 years ago

        It’s like an incendiary grenade.

        • jihadjoe
        • 3 years ago

        Not even just a trade in, it’s a full refund plus $100. Anyone selling his Note 7 on the cheap is literally giving away free money.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        A) I don’t know why you wouldn’t have traded it in… months ago. But, at this point, clearly you have made a decision. So, why install the update that breaks the phone that you have decided to keep? And why are you asking me to explain that decision?

        B)What, you mean like everyone who isn’t a google nexus or pixel owner? Tell me, does the S7 have 7.1 yet? No?

        C) < google nexus or pixel owner./

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      Sure, if you like dying in a fire.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 3 years ago

    Are these OTA updates mandatory, or could one just not do the updates? I find it kind of creepy that a device maker can remotely brick a device without user consent, even if said device is defective.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      It is really nothing new. Any device that is capable of automatically installing software updates, or relies on a public network and/or remote servers for normal operation can be remotely bricked.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        True, although android is decidedly not in that category.

        Nothing in android gets installed without user consent.

      • VincentHanna
      • 3 years ago

      Actually, they can brick your devices remotely… google “kill switch legislation”

      [quote<]Smartphones sold in California are be required to have a kill switch that lets users remotely lock them and wipe them of data in the event they are lost or stolen. The demand is the result of a new law, signed into effect on Monday, that applies to phones manufactured after July 1, 2015, and sold in the state.[/quote<] Europe has similar legislation. I doubt that this is being employed... Yet. There very well might be legal ramifications for forcing the update... especially in the deep south where a kill switch is seen as tyranny or something like that.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    I [url=https://techreport.com/news/30804/samsung-offers-100-credit-to-note-7-owners?post=1004691<]was told[/url<] that there was no way Samsung would do this. I'm glad they came to their senses. Seriously, kill these things without fire.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      There’s no reason the return rate shouldn’t be over 99% already. The carriers as well should really be embarrassed here at this point. They could’ve done something like this themselves by just disabling the IMEI’s of all the Note 7’s.

        • Kougar
        • 3 years ago

        Aye, they could and morally should have done so. But from their point of view why would they want to risk alienating the last holdouts who have demonstrated themselves to be stubborn customers. Easier for them to just let Samsung take another hit instead of bumping customer turnover up.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        Some notes have probably been destroyed/lost/stolen in ways that can’t be detected by the manufacturer (for instance if I drop it in a lake, and I have no warranty or my warranty doesn’t cover water damage) and it isn’t reported. Perhaps it is stolen while I’m on vacation and I report it to my travel insurance and resolve it that way, without involving my carrier.

        Skews the numbers.

          • AnotherReader
          • 3 years ago

          Are you claiming that a substantial fraction of the remaining 7% of all Notes have been rendered non-functional? Is there a comparable loss rate for other smartphones or are all Note 7 owners related to [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Frank_Drebin<]Frank Derbin[/url<]?

      • nexxcat
      • 3 years ago

      Well if they’re left on their own devices they’ll kill themselves with fire.

    • drfish
    • 3 years ago

    It must be far too logical to disable every feature of the phone except for 911. You know, like basically every cell phone, even without an active service plan, can do…

      • xeridea
      • 3 years ago

      I think they should just add an annoying nag to turn it in, and limit charge to like 30%. Then perhaps more aggressive action after a couple months.

        • RAGEPRO
        • 3 years ago

        I think they have already done that.

          • bthylafh
          • 3 years ago

          Limited to 50%.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      I can’t imagine that sammy would disable that functionality. As you said, all mobile phones are required to be able to call emergency services. I doubt the note 7 gets a pass on that rule.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Then it’s just Verizon FUD when they list it as a reason they won’t roll out the update? Not a huge surprise I suppose…

          • kvndoom
          • 3 years ago

          Well you know how verizon is with updates… so this gives them a convenient excuse for their usual lack of support.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        You will still be able to use emergency services until the battery runs out and you can’t charge it anymore.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 3 years ago

    I think it’s safe to assume that one of the most likely reasons a Note 7 owner would need to contact a medical professional is if their phone caught on fire.

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