Verizon Agrees To Disabling The Galaxy Note 7 On January 5th

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was originally released in August 2016 as Samsung's late flagship model for the year. The Galaxy Note 7 is based around flagship grade components and a cutting edge design, which unfortunately may have been to the detriment of the device. The device was originally recalled because of a battery problem, which was causing devices to overheat, catch fire or even explode. The original fault was traced to a problem associated with the battery but unfortunately even after the recall, replacement smartphones were also suffering from a similar problem. For the American market, Samsung cooperated with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), carriers and retailers in order to return and either upgrade or arrange a refund for the device. We have seen Samsung release a number of upgrades for the Galaxy Note 7 device to reduce the available battery capacity and remind customers that they should return the device.

Last week, Samsung announced that they were working on a software update that would essentially disable the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The new update will stop the device from being able to accept a charge and disable the cellular radio, thus rendering the Galaxy Note 7 essentially useless once the remaining charge has run out. At the time, America's largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, essentially said that they would not be supporting this update because they did not want to stop the device from working in the holiday season. However, it appears that in the last few days, the carrier has decided to apply the update in early January, thus not cutting customers off until after the holidays. Verizon has started emailing customers, advising them that the next update will be pushed to devices from January 5 and explaining what it will do - which amounts to the strong recommendation to power down their Galaxy Note 7 device and process an upgrade.

As part of the return, Verizon Wireless are crediting back all upgrade fees to customer accounts. Furthermore, for customers upgrading to another Samsung device, they will receive a $100 bill credit within one to two bill cycles. For customers upgrading to another brand of device, this bill credit is reduced to $25 but it will again be applied within one to two billing cycles. For customers using a Verizon-bought Galaxy Note 7 on a prepay plan, the company explains that returning the device to a Verizon store will ensure customers receive a full refund without a restocking fee.

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David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.