If you haven’t figured it out, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 is dangerous, it has been recalled and basically every mobile carrier has thrown a Samsung-built kill switch update that renders the phone useless. Verizon rolled out an update a couple of weeks ago that prevented the phablet from charging but some Note7 owners never updated to it as they figured out how to get around it. So, meet Verizon Note7 kill switch 2.
Verizon has begun re-routing calls made from the Note7 to customer service. This is on every call you make with the exception of 911. They are serious about you getting that phone back to them. Oh, and if that isn’t enough to get you to turn in the phone at your local Verizon store, don’t be surprised if you see an $800 charge on an upcoming bill for the phone. Now to be fair I question how they could get away with this but the point here is that Verizon is making a statement: Turn in your Note7. Now.
After delaying for “consumer safety” reasons (uh, what?), Verizon has finally thrown the kill switch on the Galaxy Note7. The carrier is rolling out update MMB29M.N930VVRS3APL2 which prevents the Note7 from charging. The charging had already been hamstrung by Verizon and other carriers but to really, really get the point across that you need to turn this exploding phone in, now you can’t charge it.
Verizon joins others like T-Mobile and AT&T who have already issued the no-charging update but it wasn’t without some controversy. Samsung issued the software update in December but Verizon said they wouldn’t issue it as they didn’t want consumers to be left without a phone. I, along with many other tech blogs and writers, bashed Verizon on this as the phone itself, which explodes when charging, is itself a danger to consumers. The sooner it is gone the better. Thankfully, and likely through a lot of FCC and CPSC pressure, they have released the update.
While there remains a few thousand Galaxy Note7 in the wild, Samsung is continuing to make heavy handed efforts to get those recalled devices back in their hands. Already issuing an update that limits the charging to 60% of capacity, the South Korean company has gone a step further by not allowing the devices to charge at all. Effectively, this is the kill switch for the device so if you are one of the few who have one, you won’t be able to use it much longer. The news is not surprising as the company has been trying to get all of the remaining devices in the globally back in their hands.
What is surprising is that Verizon has said they will not roll out the update to their customers. Uh, what?
Citing safety concerns (ironic) and not wanting to cut customers off during the holidays from their devices, Verizon has said they will not be pushing the update out to the Note7 on their network.
If you are one of the few hundred thousand globally who have not turned in your Galaxy Note7, your world is going to get a bit more difficult starting this past weekend. First, here in the United States, T-Mobile is pushing out an update to devices on their network that restrict the battery charging to a maximum of 60% of total capacity. The goal, of course, is to not overcharge the device’s battery which is the source of problems for the phone. Add to that, the icon for the battery on the Home screen will be turned gray and you will be getting regular reminders (translation: they are going to pester the hell out of you) to return you phone. The idea from T-Mobile (with Samsung’s backing) is to make it so painful to use that you turn in the phone. But, if you are in New Zealand, things just got really difficult for you.
The long, painful and expensive saga of the Galaxy Note7 is over. Samsung today has halted all sales and production of the beleaguered device, citing safe concerns over batteries catching fire. The Korean manufacture has requested all consumers power down the devices and return them to the retailer or carrier from which it was purchased for a refund or exchange for another device. The news comes just a day after all the major carriers here in the United States along with retailer Best Buy announcing they were no longer selling the phablet.