If you’re one of the last hangers-on still using a Galaxy Note 7, I have some bad news for you: T-Mobile just fired the first shot in what will be the mass execution of Samsung’s beloved-but-combustible smartphone. The carrier just rolled out the anticipated software update that will render any Note 7 that installs it essentially dead.
The update, which was issued by Samsung and is now up to each individual wireless carrier to push out to their customers, removes the ability of the phone to charge, meaning that once the battery runs out it’s basically a shiny paperweight. T-Mobile is the first carrier to push the software update to its customers, leaving AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint on the hot seat to follow through on their duty to do the same.
Verizon, which had originally claimed it would refuse to push the device-killing update, plans to do so on January 5, as does AT&T. Sprint will give Note 7 owners a few more days with their phones, but will eventually issue the update on January 8.
The Note 7 has had a short but explosive history, with spontaneous fires, a voluntary recall and exchange program, the banning of the phone from flights, and then ultimate the decision by Samsung to bury the phone as deep as it possibly could. The company has a lot of work to do before good will with its loyal customers is restored, but by finally formally killing off the devices still out there in the wild, Samsung can begin the rebuilding process without worrying about things blowing up in their faces, no pun intended.