Now multiple weeks removed from the Galaxy Note 7s final recall and discontinuation, Samsung says that 85% of all Note 7s in the U.S. have been returned to the company. That's a great return rate for a phone that sold millions of units, but that still leaves tens of thousands of unsafe Note 7s out in the wild today — to combat it, Samsung is finally issuing a software update to remaining phones that keeps them for being charged beyond 60%.
If that sounds familiar, that's because Samsung has already issued the same update elsewhere in the world — most recently in Europe starting October 25 — to try and spur Note 7 owners who have kept their phone to return it. It's not so much that only charging the phone to 60% makes it safer, but the fact that nobody would want to use their high-end phone with just more than half its usual battery life. The update will also hit users with notifications to return their phone every time they turn their screen on.
In a statement provided to Android Central, Samsung claims that a "majority" of Note 7 returns have opted to receive a replacements Samsung phone instead of a refund, which isn't quite as cavalier as previous statements claiming high rates of like-for-like Samsung swaps surrounding the first recall. It's not surprising that following a second full-scale recall even the most dedicated of Samsung fanes may have waned in their support and chose to put their refund toward a different company's phone.
The full statement from Samsung:
As of today, nearly 85 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note7 devices have been replaced through the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, with the majority of the participants opting to receive another Samsung smartphone.
We remain focused on collecting the outstanding Galaxy Note7 phones in the market. To further drive participation, we will be releasing a software update in the coming days that will limit the phone's ability to charge beyond 60 percent, as well as issue a reminder pop-up notification every time a consumer charges, reboots or turns on the screen of their Note7 device.
Any Galaxy Note7 owner who has not yet participated in the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program should immediately power down their phone and contact their carrier or retailer today.
You have to wonder what took Samsung so long to issue this 60% battery limitation update, even with the understanding that its other initiatives have reclaimed 85% of units out there. This update really should have been issued sooner, and further actions such as stopping the phones from accessing cellular networks altogether would really put the screws to the remaining owners to return their phone. There's no downside for Samsung at this point to doing everything in its power to reclaim remaining Note 7s.
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