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Verizon won’t issue upcoming Note 7 update due to safety concerns

by Brandon Russell | December 9, 2016December 9, 2016 12:00 pm PDT

In what can only be considered the ultimate irony, Verizon on Friday said it won’t issue Samsung’s upcoming Note 7 update due to safety concerns.

“Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to,” Verizon said in a statement.

The carrier argues people won’t be able to contact first responders should an emergency situation arise. Samsung, meanwhile, argues that people who have the Note 7 are putting themselves at risk.

“We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season,” Verizon said. “We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.”

Verizon makes a valid point. In an emergency situation, what is someone supposed to do? Verizon does say that it doesn’t want to push the update during the busy travel seasons though it’s unclear if the carrier will roll it out at a later date.

In lieu of an update, what else can Samsung do to encourage Note 7 owners to turn their device in? The company has already rolled out an update that restricts devices from charging over 60 percent.

Additionally, Samsung has rolled out an exchange program that offers customers a lot of options. Samsung says 93 percent of Note 7 owners in the U.S. have exchanged their device but holdouts still remain. In response to Samsung’s recall, the FAA banned the Note 7 from flights, so it’s not like people can travel with the device anyway, at least by plane.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Blue-7

Will other carriers follow suit?

It’s a tricky situation and a little weird Samsung and Verizon have not come to an agreement on how best to move forward with getting the remaining Note 7s exchanged.

With Verizon refusing to issue the update, will other carriers follow suit? Beginning Dec. 19, Samsung will release a software update that will prevent Note 7 devices from charging, turning them into expensive bricks. But Verizon says that does more harm than good.

You can read Verizon’s full statement below.

In October, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 when it was discovered that all available devices could overheat and pose a safety risk to customers. Since that time, a vast majority of Verizon customers who purchased the Note 7 have replaced their phones with other models.

Today, Samsung announced an update to the Galaxy Note 7 that would stop the smartphone from charging, rendering it useless unless attached to a power charger. Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.

Verizon and Samsung have communicated the need for customers with a Note 7 to immediately stop using their devices and return or exchange it where they purchased it. Verizon customers with the Note 7 have several options, including an additional $100 from Samsung when purchasing one of their other devices.

TheVerge

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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