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Samsung Plans To Update The Galaxy Note 7 To Completely Kill Its Battery by Ryan Whitwam
Review by Charles Mohapel
ExtremeTech.com, Samsung, Verizon News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM161211SAMSUNG
Date: 11 December 2016

Links: ExtremeTech.com Article #1 / ExtremeTech.com Article #2 / Samsung Press Release / Verizon Press Release /

Beginning on December 19th, the next Samsung update will effectively kill off all of the approximately 90,000 potentially dangerous Galaxy Note 7 smartphones still in the hands of stubborn idiots from ever being able to recharge the battery. Working closely with all major carriers, all of these remaining phones should have received the update, all except people who don't update their phones and customers of Verizon who in their arrogance and stupidity, who have issued a very strange defiant message on their website.

It may be hard to believe, but there are still people using the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, even after months of Samsung and carriers doing everything possible to get them back.  The Note 7 was officially cancelled a few months ago following repeated battery fires, which persisted after a recall that swapped out the batteries.  Samsung has pushed several updates to the phone that make it more annoying to use, but now it's playing hardball.  The next update will stop the Note 7 from charging altogether.

Even since its decision to cancel the Note 7, Samsung has been making it more annoying to use.  It first sent an update that popped up frequent warnings about the risk of fire.  Later, there was an update the limited battery charge to 60%.  Not only did that make the phone more difficult to use, it ensured there was less energy for the battery to release in the event of a fire.  Now, it has opted to disable the battery completely.  No battery power means no fire.

Samsung says the new update will begin rolling out to Note 7 devices in the US starting on December 19th.  It should hit all phones within 30 days.  When the update is installed, the Note 7 will no longer charge at all.  That means when the battery is dead, it's dead forever.  The only way the phone will power on once the battery is exhausted is if you have it plugged into a power source.  That should allow owners to retrieve any remaining personal data from the phone before turning it in.

The only exception to this is Verizon, which has refused to push the battery-killing update. In a strangely defiant message on its website, Verizon claims this update would pose "added risk" to owners who don't have another device to switch to.  Verizon specifically says it will not disable the phone during "the heart of the holiday travel season".  Of course, the Note 7 is banned from all flights, and it can literally explode even when powered off.  Maybe the update will still be pushed later?  Verizon's wording is vague.  That’s all beside the point, though.  No Note 7 owner has to continue using the device.  Samsung and the carriers have been offering free exchanges for months.  I would wager Verizon's real concern is the potential complaints it would get after killing the phone, even if it's a fire hazard.

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