Saturday 10 December 2016

Samsung To Disable Its Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 7

Samsung’s next software update for the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone will render the devices useless in order to prevent any more from catching fire and exploding.

A problem with the device’s lithium ion battery led some units to combust, in some cases injuring their owners and causing damage to property. The issues continued even after Samsung recalled, replaced and refunded some of the units, leading to a second more expansive recall of 1.9m devices.

The Note 7 was banned from so many airlines that the company is opening stalls in airports where owners can swap or refund it before boarding their flight.

Although more than 93% of the devices have been returned as part of the exchange program in the United States, some units remain “in the wild”.

The software update, which Samsung confirmed would be released in mid-December in the US, will prevent the phones from charging and functioning as mobile phones, essentially turning them into useless mementos from a disastrous product launch. “Customer safety remains our highest priority,” said the company in a statement.

Such an update has been expected for months, and follows efforts by Samsung’s partners to prevent people from using the Note 7. Facebook, for example, issued a software update in October to prevent the Gear VR virtual reality headset – which acts as an accessory to compatible Samsung phones – from working with the Note 7. This was to ensure no one accidentally strapped an exploding phone to their eyes.

Not everyone’s happy about the update as it will leave some people without their main communications device.

Verizon issued a statement saying it would not push the update to its customers to avoid the added risk it could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users who don’t have another device to switch to.

“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,” said the company in a statement.



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