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Carriers announce the exact dates they plan to kill your Galaxy Note 7

Published Dec 12th, 2016 9:18AM EST
Galaxy Note 7 Recall
Image: Reuters

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The Galaxy Note 7 has burned people. It has burned cars. It has even burned down a man’s house. And of course, it has burned Samsung’s reputation. After Note 7 units began exploding during use and a recall didn’t resolve the issue, Samsung was forced to completely cancel its flagship phablet for 2016. The South Korean smartphone maker announced last week that more than 93% of recalled phones have been turned in at this point, but that still leaves tens of thousands of phones out there that could explode at any time. So, in an effort to limit any further exposure, Samsung said on Friday that it would soon release a software update in the United States that will render the phone completely useless for wireless subscribers who have not yet returned their Note 7 devices.

The software update will be released by Samsung one week from today, but that doesn’t mean it will actually hit Note 7 phones on the 19th. In the US, wireless carriers are responsible for distributing software updates, and now we know exactly when each US carrier plans to cripple the remaining Galaxy Note 7s on their networks.

First things first: Verizon hasn’t changed its mind. The carrier said that it doesn’t want to risk leaving people with no way to communicate while they’re traveling for the holidays, so it will not release Samsung’s new update. Of course, there’s nothing stopping Verizon from releasing the update after the holidays, but apparently that’s not going to happen either.

AT&T began sending text messages to users on Friday, shortly after Samsung’s announcement. “As of 1/5/2017, Samsung’s software update to prevent the Galaxy Note 7 battery from recharging will be pushed to your Note 7,” the SMS messages said. “The battery will no longer recharge. This Note 7 was recalled and is banned on all flights in both checked and carry-on luggage. Your safety is our priority, please return your Note 7 to the place you purchased for an exchange. For more details go to”

T-Mobile plans to push out the Note 7 crippling update on Tuesday, December 27th. “We always want to do the right thing and make sure our customers are safe, so on December 27 we will roll out Samsung’s latest software update, which is designed to stop all remaining Note 7 devices from charging,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told CNET. “T-Mobile customers who still have a Note 7 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.”

And finally, Sprint said in a news release that it will roll out the update beginning on January 8th. “To drive increased participation in its U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, Samsung will release a software update beginning on January 8, 2017 that will disable all remaining Sprint Note7 devices from being able to hold a charge,” Sprint said. “This software update will eliminate the ability of these Galaxy Note7 to work as mobile devices. Customer safety is our highest priority. Sprint customers with Samsung Galaxy Note7 should immediately power off the device and discontinue using it. Sprint is honoring the replacement of all Sprint Samsung Note7 devices to any other device, regardless where or when it was purchased, condition and return policy.”

So, to recap, here’s when each of the four top US carriers will release Samsung’s new update, rendering the Galaxy Note 7 unusable:

  • AT&T: January 5th, 2017
  • T-Mobile: December 27th, 2016
  • Sprint: January 8th, 2017
  • Verizon: 🔥🔥
Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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