Samsung versus Verizon – who is going to win this?

We have quite the standoff going on right now between two of the largest companies in mobile. You might think I’m talking about Samsung vs. Apple, and you’d be half right. What I’m talking about is Samsung vs. Verizon. You see, last week, Samsung announced that it would be releasing a priority update to all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones still out in the wild that would essentially kill the phones. They would no longer be able to charge, rendering them basically useless.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in handNot so fast

Verizon came out and announced that it would issue no such update. As it turns out, Verizon is not in the business of breaking phones and I get that, but is allowing them to burst into flames OK?. Samsung’s safety measure, while extreme, probably will be a positive in the long run. But Verizon, not incorrectly I might add, doesn’t want to issue an update that will cause its customers to have a broken phone, especially during the holiday season.

I get that, I really do. In this case, both sides have solid points in their favor. But I wanted to go over them and see if we could can reach some kind of conclusion. Samsung wants to prevent any more of its phones from catching fire. This is a good goal on many levels. Samsung will be saving property, and potentially lives with this action, which is good and noble. Samsung will also be closing the book on this “phones catching on fire” thing, which prevents more bad PR – as if it could get worse at this point.

Verizon on the other hand doesn’t want its customers to have broken phones – also for a variety of reasons. First, Verizon will be issuing the update, so who do you think customers will come running to when their phones break? I’ll give you a hint and it rhymes with “horizon”. Plus, Samsung has already hamstrung phones by not allowing them to charge beyond 60%, so what’s the big deal, right? Of course, it’s possible a Samsung Note 7 doesn’t need a full capacity to break, so that’s the big deal.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7Personal responsibility

But let’s look at this from a consumer’s point of view as well. Samsung has issued a recall twice here, and this story has been covered and covered to death – fortunately, not literally. But it’s not like people don’t know what’s going on with these things. Doesn’t there have to be a point at which personal responsibility comes into play with something like this? Samsung has done everything short of breaking the phone at this point. Plus, it has made it crystal clear that the phone is dangerous and needs to be sent home. If people want to hold on to some kind of collector’s item, shouldn’t they be allowed to?

After all, I consider it quite Darwinian. I’m starting to take Verizon’s side more and more here, but more so to facilitate removing some deserving folks from the gene pool. Let’s face it people, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a dangerous phone, and Samsung has rightly washed its hands of it. It’s literally just trying to save people from themselves. But Verizon is getting in the way of that.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 officialNobody is perfect

I get it, this isn’t all that cut and dried. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t even be an issue and people would use common sense and send their phones in. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Carriers have the right to review software updates before they are issued to their paying customers. It’s not crazy to think a carrier wouldn’t be fond of the idea of intentionally breaking phones, even if the original manufacturer is.

Well, I think it’s no secret by this point whose side I’m on. I mean, I get why Verizon would protest, but I’m not so sure that it should. Samsung is trying to end this soap opera in a decisive way, and I respect that, even if I hate the fact that it came to this in the first place. But what about you? Do you think Verizon is right to hold back this update? Do you think Samsung is right for wanting to deliver the death stroke? Sound off below in the comments. It’s a little early in the week for a weekend debate, but this story could qualify as that. So let’s see if we can figure this out.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!