AT&T, T-Mobile & Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Turn Off Dates

For those that might have thought the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was yesterday’s news, they were strongly mistaken. As today news feeds have been inundated with Galaxy Note 7 announcements. Largely due to Samsung earlier today releasing an ‘update statement’ on the status of the Galaxy Note 7 and confirming that they are planning on releasing an update on December 19 which will effectively render the Galaxy Note 7 useless. The update is designed to mimic the ‘bricking’ of the handset’ and seems to be a last ditch attempt to get those still holding on to the handset, to return it. As it will effectively be useless after the new update is applied due to the device becoming unable to be recharged.

Generally speaking, carriers in the US have gone out of their way to assist Samsung in the recall process. However, in a departure from that norm, Verizon very quickly released a statement detailing that they were not going to help Samsung with rolling out this particular update to their respective Galaxy Note 7s. The reason being that Verizon did not feel comfortable with removing all functionality from their Samsung Galaxy Note 7s, in case it was the only device their customers had. Essentially, removing any ability for those customers to be able to call family, friends or emergency services and especially during the holiday season.

As an update to this, The Verge reached out to the rest of the US carriers to see if and how they were planing to comply with the full disabling update from Samsung. According to The Verge, T-Mobile will be the first of the big four to release the update and this will happen on December 27. So presumably, T-Mobile is waiting until the main holiday period has passed before they disable their Galaxy Note 7s. AT&T is taking things a little further and apparently will not disable their Galaxy Note 7s until January 5. While Sprint is holding out even longer and has confirmed that they will be rolling out the update to their respective Galaxy Note 7s from January 8, 2017.

So it does seem to be the case that even this late in the game, the Galaxy Note 7 is still proving to be controversial. While the update will be released on December 19, it does seem that all of the major US carriers will be holding out until at least after December 25, before they start releasing what is being affectionately dubbed the 'kill update' to their respective devices. With Verizon of course, somewhat placing the update on permanent hold for now. Although, it is worth keeping in mind that all of the carriers and Samsung have repeatedly reiterated over the past few months that the easiest solution to owning the Galaxy Note 7 - is to return it. A solution which if done before December 25 will avoid any issues of the device becoming permanently switched off by Samsung.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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