US carriers detail Note 7 discharge update and why Verizon didn’t announce a date

While 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note 7 units in the United States have been put away from public consumption, Samsung wants push that number to 100.

It has officially announced that devices not deactivated through a product refund or exchange will receive a software update that will cut off the charging and connectivity functions starting December 19. But delivery of that update has been left to cellular carriers — and one of them has refused to carry the update out.

An SMS text from US Cellular indicated that it will be the first to push forward with the deactivating update, sending first seeds out on December 15. In the case of T-Mobile, it stated that the update will roll out starting December 27. AT&T will follow on January 5 while Sprint will push out the same package from January 8.

Verizon has refused to push the update because it believes that the update may pose an “added risk” to Note 7 owners who still happen to be using the phone and have not been able to, for one reason or another, switch away from it.

“We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season,” said Vice President of Global Corporate Communications Jeffrey Nelson, “We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.”

As already noted, AT&T and Sprint have pointedly set their update dates to well after when the new year begins.

Samsung and the carriers continue to offer incentives for customers to exchange their Note 7 units for another phone or get a refund.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.