The world’s biggest seller of smartphone devices is planning to roll out a new software update that should brick every Galaxy Note 7 phablet that has not yet been returned. Specifically, Samsung’s software update will prevent all remaining units out there from charging, and will also take away their ability to function as smartphones. The South Korean tech giant will be deploying the update starting this coming December 19th, with the roll out spanning over a whole month. Some may remember that back in September earlier this year, Samsung has already released a software update that would limit the Galaxy Note 7’s recharge capacity to just 60 percent.
According to an official statement, Samsung is looking to coordinate with partner mobile operators in order to inform customers by way of multiple touchpoints and most importantly encourage them to return any remaining Galaxy Note 7 unit and benefit from the financial incentives being offered. In other words, Galaxy Note 7 owners are enjoined to power down their device and then return it to their wireless carrier for a refund or an opportunity to exchange for a different handset.
As for the mobile operators, industry leader Verizon Wireless interestingly has opted not to deploy Samsung’s update. The Big Red cited the additional risk for mobile users who do not currently have another alternate handset to switch to. The biggest wireless carrier in America is also not willing to roll out a software update that will get take away the user’s ability to make use of his smartphone, especially in the busy holiday season wherein people are more likely to travel or contact their loved ones.
What about other major wireless carriers in the United States? Thankfully, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have expressed their willingness to work with Samsung in getting every Galaxy Note 7 surrendered once and for all. But there is a catch (sort of). This week, the three mobile operators announced schedules for the roll outs of the respective updates. AT&T will be releasing the update next year on January 5th, T-Mobile on December 27th, and Sprint on January 8th.
Sure, Verizon Wireless has every right to refuse to deploy the update in its own terms, but it can be argued that the other three major US wireless carriers seem to have taken the better approach in rolling out Samsung’s software update. The priority remains the safety of mobile users, and as long as there are Galaxy Note 7 units still out there, their owners will not be completely out of harm’s way.
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