Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 nightmare will soon be over. Since its release in August, numerous reports of overheating and spontaneous combustion 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 since these issues began, 93 percent of Galaxy Note 7 models in the U.S. have been returned. The rest that are still in circulation will not be functioning in the very near future.
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." 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."
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.
When Samsung announced this software update, all of the telecommunication companies were on board. Except Verizon.
Verizon originally said it wouldn't participate in this software update. That's because it was concerned it would leave customers without another device to switch to and that holiday travelers would not have a phone in case of an emergency.
Verizon agrees to brick all Note 7 phones
Now, Verizon has agreed to a compromise and will, in fact, partake in the software update. However, they won't send the update to its customers until after the holiday season is over. Verizon customers will now get the software update on January 5, 2017.
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.