Samsung may remotely disable remaining Galaxy Note 7 phones


If you decided to ignore the Galaxy Note 7 recall because your love for the handset is greater than the fear of it exploding, then you may only have a few more days left to use it.

At lease one owner of the phone claims to have received a message from U.S. Cellular that suggests Samsung is gearing up to disable the device next week, The Verge reported.

It reads: “As of Dec. 15, Samsung will modify the software to prevent the Galaxy Note 7 from charging. The phone will no longer work.”

In other words, if you haven’t yet sorted out a replacement device, you’d better do so soon.

Samsung has already taken steps to encourage users to return the device, issuing a reminder pop-up message each time the phone’s screen is turned on. It also issued an update to limit the Note 7’s ability to charge beyond 60 percent.

It’s not yet certain if the message is genuine – Samsung and U.S. Cellular haven’t commented – or if the suggested action will extend to the major carriers, though such a move wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Korean tech giant wants the Note 7 out of circulation, and steps have already been taken in Canada and New Zealand to drastically limit the handset’s functionality.

Of course, it’s possible some of those who continue to hold onto the phone stopped using it long ago, choosing instead to keep it as a historical artifact. Or a paperweight.

More: Samsung has replaced 85 percent of U.S. Note 7 phones

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 went from hero to zero pretty much as soon as it launched back in the summer.

It received rave reviews at the start, with DT, for example, praising its “stunning, comfortable design” and “fresh user interface.”

But it soon emerged that there was a serious issue with some of the batteries that caused the Note 7 to overheat, and in some cases explode.

With more than 90 reports in the U.S. of the handset overheating, “including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a formal recall notice to the more than one million U.S-based owners of the device.

Samsung started circulating new Note 7 units with fresh batteries, but some of those also turned out to have serious issues. With the whole launch turning into a shambles, the company finally ended sales of the phone in October.

Owners can return the device for a refund or replacement, but it seems some people are determined never to give it back. Despite its serious flaws.

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