Verizon refuses to release update that would kill Samsung’s Note 7

Verizon will not be releasing a just-announced Galaxy Note 7 software update designed to stop the recalled smartphone from charging. In a statement, the leading US mobile carrier attributed the decision to concerns over safety for customers who might not have another mobile phone to use after the Note 7 has been crippled.

“Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to,” the company’s statement reads. “We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.” The Galaxy Note 7 remains banned on airlines by the FAA and is prohibited from being used on many other public transit services in the United States as well.

Verizon seems to think it’s already done an effective job communicating the recall to consumers alongside Samsung, but the carrier believes this update is a step too far — even for a phone that’s a very real fire hazard.

The Verge is reaching out to other US providers to see whether they plan to roll out Samsung’s update to remaining Note 7 customers. Sprint has announced that it will wait until January 8th to release the Note 7 update — after the holiday season has concluded. AT&T is doing the same thing, but launching a few days update on January 5th. “The battery will no longer recharge,” the company confirmed in a statement. “This Note 7 was recalled and is banned on all flights in both checked and carry-on luggage.” Samsung said the update would take 30 days to roll out across carriers, so AT&T and Sprint are holding to the end of that timeframe, whereas Verizon is outright rejecting it for now.

T-Mobile will release the Note 7 update even earlier on December 27th, so after the Christmas holiday but before New Years. “We always want to do the right thing and make sure our customers are safe, so on December 27th we will roll out Samsung’s latest software update, which is designed to stop all remaining Note 7 devices from charging. These devices were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Oct. 13 and should no longer be used.”

Verizon’s full statement on its refusal to participate follows below.

In October, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 when it was discovered that all available devices could overheat and pose a safety risk to customers. Since that time, a vast majority of Verizon customers who purchased the Note 7 have replaced their phones with other models.

Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note 7 that would stop the smartphone from charging, rendering it useless unless attached to a power charger. Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.

Verizon and Samsung have communicated the need for customers with a Note 7 to immediately stop using their devices and return or exchange it where they purchased it. Verizon customers with the Note 7 have several options, including an additional $100 from Samsung when purchasing one of their other devices.

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