Samsung may be preparing to permanently shut down the remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices in the US, and it could happen as early as December 15th which is next Thursday. The shut down will come by way of a software update that Samsung is said to be pushing to the phones next week which will block them from charging at all, following an update earlier this year which would only allow them to charge up to 60 percent. Of course, with the phone's not being able to charge, there will be no way to power the device back on once it loses whatever power it has left post update.
This is a little bit different from the measures that Samsung Canada is taking, which is also reportedly preparing to send out updates to the remaining active phones in the country next Monday. For customers in Canada who are still holding onto their devices, Samsung's issued update will essentially disable any of the phone's connectivity capabilities, which includes permanently disabling the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, and Data features. Once the updates to the phones go through, voice, text, and data will be blocked via the cellular networks, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will cease to work, so there will be no way to use anything that requires an internet or cell network connection.
These might seem like somewhat drastic measures, but Samsung is serious about ensuring the safety of their customers and to do that they need to get any remaining phones back as they will continue to pose a risk until then. Recently, Samsung finally offered up some explanation as to what was causing the problems with their Galaxy Note 7 batteries, which were pegged as the issue well before Samsung's explanation, but at that time the company had not offered up any in-depth details as to the core problem of what caused the batteries to fail. While most of the Galaxy Note 7 devices in the US have been returned at this point, there are still some customers which have not sent their devices back to Samsung even though the company has offered full refunds or a replacement to another phone such as the Galaxy S7. The alerts for the new update were sent out specifically to a customer on US Cellular via text message, so it's not clear if other carriers will be sending out the same update, but it would make sense for Samsung to issue the update nation wide on the largest carriers.