Note 7 owners holding onto their devices have been asked nicely, offered incentives, banned from taking them on planes (regardless of whether they are switched on or not) but a final few just don’t want to give up what is arguably the best phone of 2016, had it not started exploding.
Samsung’s taken different approaches in various countries – working with operators in New Zealand to prevent the handsets from being able to join a network, and limiting charging to 60 percent, for example – but now Samsung US has taken the decision to brick all the remaining devices with a final update. It’s due to start rolling out from December 19 for US users.
According to Samsung’s statement on the matter, the update will “eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices” by preventing them from charging at all. And if you’ve got a dead mobile device you can’t charge, then what you really have is a $700 brick.
It’s a pretty drastic move, and perhaps one that’s indicative that Note 7s weren’t being returned quite as quickly as the company wanted. That offer for an exchange or refund stands though, which is better than being left with a brick.