Samsung will be disabling the charging ability of the Note 7

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2016 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy note 7, verizon, recall

If you are one of the 7% that like living dangerously and are not returning your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 you may find yourself unable to charge it.  Samsung are going to push out an update on December 19th which will disable the devices ability to charge.  The incendiary devices suffer from a design flaw which does not leave enough space for the battery to swell, which can lead to an electrical short in the battery which ends badly for both the device and the owner.  Verizon has decided to take an interesting stand and will be blocking this update, allowing those who wish to continue using this device to continue to do so.  Pop over to The Inquirer for more details.

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"THE REMAINING owners of the highly flammable Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have their devices remotely killed from 19 December when an over-the-air update will prevent their devices from charging."

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Source: The Inquirer

December 9, 2016 | 08:42 PM - Posted by CNote

I wonder if Verizon will pay the damages when one of their Notes takes out a house?

December 9, 2016 | 11:04 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

That's what I'm wondering. It seems like they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit that they aren't going to be able to pass the buck to Samsung for. Samsung is at least attempting to mitigate damages...

December 10, 2016 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Verizon is only blocking it through Christmas. The problem is Verizon, as is every other carrier, is in a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" situation.

The fact is someone who has the Note 7 and were to have a car accident or a house fire during Christmas would likely sue Verizon for disabling their phone and preventing them from contacting emergency services. Should these people replace their Note's? Of course, a long time ago. Problem is you can't force them. And if juries will give someone who spilled their own hot coffee on themselves millions of dollars from McDonalds, it isn't so hard to think a jury would find against Verizon.

December 12, 2016 | 11:06 AM - Posted by CNote

I can tell you are know nothing about that McDonalds case...

December 12, 2016 | 06:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I enjoy people who talk about the McDonalds settlement who clearly know nothing about the actual case itself, believing it to be enormous miscarriage of justice.

December 9, 2016 | 11:08 PM - Posted by PCPerFan (not verified)

Good on Verizon!

December 11, 2016 | 08:45 PM - Posted by Arc (not verified)

You can't just brick someones device without significant backlash and consequence. I would be absolutely livid if someone destroyed my personal property and files.

This is why I set myself up as the true owner of devices and root, block telemetry, etc. It stops corporations from dipping back in and say Amazon removing books from your kindle.

December 12, 2016 | 09:10 AM - Posted by collie

You can if it's a defective product that is a threat to not just the owner but others as well. If you had a car that burst into flame you cant just keep driving saying "Mine will be fine because.... reasons.... so I'll keep it"

December 12, 2016 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They most certainly can take steps to mitigate/limit the liability risk from a product that they themselves admit is defective and a danger. I don't like the car recall analogy because the car manufacturer does not have the same ability. However I think there has been enough press and action taken on Samsung's part to already mitigate liability on their end (they've done the same/more than a car maker is required to do). Carriers should be thanking them for throwing them a bone.

December 12, 2016 | 11:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Verizon could take a much simpler approach than "bricking" a customer's device.

Verizon could block the phone from accessing their network, or allow it to only access "emergency services" ("911" in the USA) and Verizon "customer service".

If you don't think that's possible, you would be very very wrong. To get past such blocking would require a customer to fraudulently misrepresent their phone (change something about the phone that uniquely identifies it to the carrier) to the network, and Verizon could sue the customer for that if there is no legal recourse.

That form of "strict blocking" will still allow a customer to call for help and call to find out why their phone isn't allowed to do anything else while still being able to rescue any and all data they may have on their phone (the phone isn't "bricked").

Then Verizon could offer these same "holdouts" ("rogues", "renegades", "a$$hat$") a "deal they can't refuse": "trade in the device with no impact to your contract term & plan and a possible change to your monthly costs (depends on what device you trade into), or, pay up some remaining cost of the contract to own the phone outright if you don't own it outright already". In the case of a customer refusing to trade-in or buy their phone outright (why would they continue to pay on a contract for a device that cannot be used as designed on a carrier's network is beyond me), issue a statement to the customer unilaterally absolving Verizon of any fault should something happen to the phone or it self-destructs on it's own. If the customer already owns the phone and they don't want to trade-in, they get that letter. In any case, Verizon gets the device off their network and removes any liability for it.

Like Darth Vader said in response to changing the terms of the agreement... "pray I don't change it any further".

December 12, 2016 | 08:37 AM - Posted by razor512

Why not just set a charge cycle limit such as 30, along with a warning on each charge cycle?

December 12, 2016 | 11:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That doesn't solve the problem of the battery not having enough room around it to expand as it charges and ages. Thus, the battery is still potentially at risk to explode. That is the major point made in a forensic teardown article posted elsewhere on the interwebs.

Basically, the Samsung mechanical designers designed a case that is "too d@mn small" for the proper mechanical function of the battery portion of the system. OOPS!

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