In case the first recall, second recall, house fire, airline ban, internet-winning Halloween costume or physical injuries weren’t enough to deter you from using your Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is going to take the option out of your hands. New Zealand phone companies are working with Samsung to start blacklisting any Note 7 devices left in the wild, which should be the final blow for the hottest smartphone in recent history.
Stuff reports that the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum estimates that there’s a “few hundred” devices left active in the country, but not for long. Starting on November 18th, Note 7 devices won’t work on any of New Zealand’s cell networks.
This isn’t being achieved by a remote software update, but rather by blacklisting the IMEI number of every Note 7 handset. The phones will still work offline or over Wi-Fi, but there won’t be any cellular data connection. In theory, a particularly dumb or stubborn user could keep using their Note 7 with a portable hotspot, but that’s a lot of effort to possible get second-degree burns.
The New Zealand ban is the first we’ve heard of Samsung or a cell carrier forcing customers to stop using Ntoe 7s, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the measure roll out worldwide. Samsung has already used an over-the-air update to cap battery charge in an effort to make devices safer. Given that the company doesn’t want any more bad media stories about exploding phones, it’s easy to see a global blacklist being used to force the last remaining devices out of the hands of customers.
Data released shortly after the second recall showed that usage of Note 7 devices was still on the rise despite the recall, and some major Samsung fanboys used bad math and movies to justify their continued ownership of Samsung phones. But with an official CPSC recall in place for the phones and a nearly-global ban on air travel with the devices, it’s probably time to give it up.