- By Safaa Ismaeel
Samsung software updates for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are to come into effect across Europe for units still in use despite a fire risk, to prevent them being charged past 30%
The update aims to encourage the few owners who have not yet returned the faulty devices to hand them in.
Samsung issued a global recall for the Galaxy Note 7 in September 2016 following complaints about exploding batteries.
Samsung estimates that in Europe about 10% of Note 7 owners have yet to return their devices.
In a statement, Samsung, which plans to begin the changes on the 15th of December 2016, said the update it issued in September that limited charging capacity to 60% “helped to drive a high rate of return”.
“This new battery software update is specifically designed to reinforce to the remaining minority of customers to immediately replace their device,”
Customers can swap their phones via local replacement programmes, the South Korean tech giant added.
Reports suggest Samsung is taking different steps in other regions to encourage people to return their phones.
In Canada, an update reportedly turns off all the radio communications on a phone, including phone, wi-fi and Bluetooth, rendering it useless.
In the USA, Samsung said it would issue an update on the 19th of December 2016 that would stop devices charging entirely and “eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices”. It said about 93% of all faulty phones had been returned in the US.
Verizon cell phone network provider, has said it will not apply the update to any of it’s customers because of safety concerns for people who have no other phone.
“We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.” Verizon said in a statement shared with tech news site The Verge.
After the battery debacle, Samsung stopped global production and sales completely for the Note 7.
Reports of fires led to Samsung issuing a warning and asking owners to turn off their devices and hand them in.
Profits at the electronic giant plunged following the recall.
In late October Samsung announced that its operating profit for the three months between July and September was 30% down on the same period in 2015.
In December 2016 Apple iPhone 6 and 6s also came under battery related complains however these were localised only to the Chinese city of Shanghai. These complaints were not found to be true with the devices physically damaged or tampered with to make them malfunction. China has a deep distrust of non Chinese technology and strongly favours domestic brands over the likes of Apple, Sony or Samsung.
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