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Why your Samsung Note 7 won't work after December 19

Why your Samsung Note 7 won't work after December 19

Are you still holding on to your Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Well, you better start thinking about exchanging it for another smartphone soon - the final death blow for the ill-fated gadget is due in a few days.

Samsung will push an over-the-air software update to the smartphone on December 19 that will shut off all of its connections, including phone and data. The update will also prevent it from recharging. This will ultimately render the Samsung Note 7 useless, essentially turning it into a fancy "brick."

The plight of the Note 7 has been a major scourge for Samsung this year. Since its release in August, numerous reports of overheating and spontaneous combustions prompted the company to issue a massive recall and halt the smartphone's production completely. The concern for the smartphone's propensity to explode even compelled the Federal Aviation Authority to completely ban it from flights.

Samsung reports that 93 percent of U.S. Galaxy Note 7 models have been returned. This latest method to disable the smartphone via software is its final attempt to coax the remaining 7 percent of Note 7 holdovers to turn in their gadgets.

According to Samsung's official recall page, "To further increase participation, a software update will be released starting on December 19th that will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices."

Note: While major U.S. carriers are aboard Samsung's plan, Verizon reportedly will not issue this December 19 update due to added safety risks it poses to their customers especially during the holiday season. Read Verizon's official statement here.

This is not the first time Samsung issued a software update to remedy the Note 7's issues. An update in September aimed to limit its battery capacity to 60 percent, shortly before the company decided to halt its production completely.

If you still have a Galaxy Note 7 in your possession, here's what Samsung recommends under its "U.S. Note 7 Refund and Exchange Program":

  • Exchange your current Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone and replacement of any Galaxy Note7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices.
  • Obtain a refund at your point of purchase.

Samsung is also issuing credits of up to $100 for any Note 7 that is exchanged or returned.

For more details about this recall, including answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Samsung's official Note 7 recall page.

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