In the US, many carriers are already working on updating every Galaxy Note 7’s battery icon, exchanging old, explosion prone and, most importantly, recalled Note 7 units with new ones and, for some, selling new units to consumers at large.
For Canada, the pace of the process has been more measured. Samsung Canada spoke with MobileSyrup talking about its exchange program and when new sales would officially start in the north.
COO and executive vice-president of mobile enterprise solutions Paul Brannen said that about 70 percent of the 22,000 units have been registered for replacement. An software update that will change the color of the battery icon on new Note 7 phones from white to green is heading out, automatically installing itself on every phone. Data charges for the update are zeroed out by carriers.
“In the event that you have a device that hasn’t been replaced, the software will detect what battery is in there and prompt you to register for the exchange program,” Brannen said.
While Samsung can flip a “kill switch” to remotely deactivate every old unit or limit the charge of the battery, — a strategy the company has chosen to apply in the US and Korea — the Canadian division has opted instead for a somewhat gentler prod: a notification every three hours urging users to switch up to a new Note 7.
“We have worked very closely with HQ and we determined that’s the wrong message to send,” Brennan said. “The message that we want to send to consumers is: ‘I want you to exchange your devices.’ Allowing you to only charge a device to 60 percent is not going to drive a great consumer experience.”
So, when will shiny new Galaxy Note 7 boxes get into stores? There’s a soft target for “the mid-October timeframe,” barring a knot in the exchanges process that’s expected to be near complete in the next couple of weeks.
Samsung issued a global, voluntary recall of every Galaxy Note 7 on September 2.