It’s been… real.
Samsung has encouraged the return of 93% of the 1.9 million recalled Galaxy Note 7s since the second recall was issued on October 13. That’s a lot of phones, but that still means there are over 130,000 units still to be recovered, many of which could have defective batteries.
Samsung America, as a way of persuading those obstinate holdouts, will issue a software update beginning December 19 to cut off all remaining power and radio connectivity to those devices. In other words, after the mandatory firmware patch, the phones won’t charge or connect to any cellular networks — even Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A press release states:
To further increase participation, a software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days. This software update will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices.
Together with our carrier partners, we will be notifying consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.
This is the true end for the disastrous Note 7, as the phone’s largest market finally resorts to crippling the phone. Users can get information for a full refund or exchange for another Galaxy device at Samsung’s dedicated recall portal.