Samsung are planning to completely disable the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 with an update that would stop the phone from being able to charge in an attempt to prevent any more from exploding.
An issue with the device’s lithium ion battery caused a number of units to explode, often causing severe injuries to their owners. These electrical faults continued after the first Samsung recall, which has led them to recall the remaining 1.9m devices.
The update would be the latest in a long series of attempts from Samsung to remove the phones from being a danger to their users. It is not the first time that a software update has been used to try and curtail functionality of the Galaxy Note 7; indeed, Facebook, issued a software update in October to prevent the Gear VR headset from working alongside the Note 7, as an attempt to ensure that no-one was attaching an exploding phone to their eyes.
The Galaxy Note 7 has been banned from such a large number of airports that many stalls have been set up as places for the devices to be deposited, as part of the refund or replace scheme laid out by Samsung.
At the time of writing, around 93 per cent of devices have been returned as part of the exchange program in the United States. This means that there are still around 285,000 phones still in use, or certainly in the possession of their owners. As such, this software update seems to be a final attempt from the Korean company to remove the risks of owning the device.
The software update, is to be released in mid-December and will prevent the phones from charging, rendering them completely useless, expensive bricks. The update comes as Samsung insist that “customer safety remains [their] highest priority.”
In response to the plans, Verizon has issued a statement saying it would not enforce the update on its users, out of fear for those who may have no other available devices on which they could contact others.
Verizon said: “we will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note7 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.”