Verizon won’t let the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 die this holiday season
Just when it looked like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was finally going the way of the dodo, the biggest mobile carrier in the U.S. has stepped in to give the explosive handset’s loyalists another excuse to cling to it a little longer.
Shortly after Samsung announced its plan to issue a software update to permanently disable any remaining Note 7’s active on U.S. networks, Verizon issued its own news release declaring that the carrier will not support the effort. The statement, which was attributed to Vice President of Global Corporate Communications Jeffrey Nelson, voiced the carrier’s concerns for the well-being of stubborn Note 7 holdouts:
Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note7 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 Note7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note7 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.
It’s important to note (no pun intended) that Samsung Canada’s announcement regarding the Note 7’s shutdown addressed these concerns directly. Canadian holdouts will have their mobile network services completely shut off but the updates there won’t brick the phone entirely, leaving the ability to dial 9-1-1 intact.
Responses from the other major U.S. carriers have been more supportive.
Sprint issued a newsroom statement in support of Samsung’s update, urging Note 7 users on the network to immediately power off the device and take the proper steps to replace it through the carrier’s exchange program.
A T-Mobile rep responded to Mashable with a statement supporting Samsung’s software update as well:
We always want to do the right thing and make sure our customers are safe, so on Dec. 27 we will roll out Samsungs latest software update, which is designed to stop all remaining Note7 devices from charging. These devices were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Oct. 13 and should no longer be used. T-Mobile customers who still have a Note7 should immediately power down and stop using the device, and bring it back to a T-Mobile store for a full refund and a replacement device.
In lieu of an official newsroom release, an AT&T spokesperson told Mashable it will soon send Note 7 owners this statement in the form of an SMS message:
As of 1/5/2017, Samsungs software update to prevent the Galaxy Note7 battery from recharging will be pushed to your Note7. The battery will no longer recharge. This Note7 was recalled and is banned on all flights in both checked and carry-on luggage. Your safety is our priority, please return your Note7 to the place you purchased for an exchange. For more details go toatt.com/note7.
Mashable also reached out to US Cellular for its stance on the matter and will update the story upon receiving a response.
(This story was updated to reflect T-Mobile’s statement at 4:15 p.m. EST, then later to reflect AT&T’s message at 4:35 p.m. EST).