On Friday, Samsung loudly confirmed its plans to push a software update that would kill U.S.-based Note 7s’ ability to charge — effectively rendering them useless when not plugged directly into a power source. It was a more decisive follow up to an earlier update that wouldn’t allow the phone to charge over 60 percent, attempting to wean those last few Note diehards off their devices.
Not everyone was on-board with the decision. Verizon (our parent company), issued a quick follow up statement refusing to push the update over fears that not having a phone could prove problematic during holiday travel — of course, having a working Note 7 presents its own its issues while traveling. The three other major U.S. carriers, meanwhile, were seemingly happy to comply.
Four days before the software update goes live in the U.S. (December 19), Samsung U.K. will release an update designed to cap charging at 30 percent. It won’t render the Note 7 useless, but it sure will make using the thing a pain in the butt. According to the company:
This software update is designed to further minimise customer risk and reinforce to customers to replace their device through the Galaxy Note7 Replacement Programme as soon as possible.
The announcement shines a further light on the different approaches from country to country within the same large corporation. Take New Zealand, where relatively early on, Samsung took steps to team with carriers to shut the phone off from mobile networks, turning it into a Wi-Fi-only device.