WASHINGTON: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday that a software update for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be released mid-December in the United States preventing them from charging and functioning as mobile phones, rendering them useless.
The smartphone maker said that more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices had been returned as a part of its exchange program in the United States.
The US Transportation Department and other agencies in October ordered Galaxy Note 7 owners from carrying the devices or stowing them in checked baggage during flights following reports of fires in replacement Note 7 devices.
However, Verizon Communications Inc said it would not take part in the update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to.
“Consumer safety remains our highest priority and we’ve had overwhelming participation in the US Note7 Refund and Exchange Program so far, with more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note7 devices returned,” a Samsung press statement said.
It said: “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 US 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.”