This Is When Your US Note 7 Will Die

Samsung's decision to not just ask nicely for Galaxy Note 7 recall hold-outs to return the phone but brick it altogether has left some wondering "when will my Note 7 die?" Tired of waiting for remaining owners to come in for a refund, Samsung has opted to take more drastic actions. However, with the news that Verizon doesn't plan to release the new firmware, which prevents the problematic phablet's battery from charging, attention has turned to the other major US carriers to confirm when – or indeed if – their customers will receive it.

According to Verizon, the decision not to release Samsung's firmware is in users' best-interests. "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," Jeffrey Nelson, Vice President of Global Corporate Communications at Verizon, said in a statement. "We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation."

Other carriers are more forthcoming on the updated software, however. AT&T has just confirmed its release date for the update, and the company tells us that a text message is set to go out to subscribers shortly about the timescale. That will inform them that the release is scheduled for January 5th, 2017.

As of 1/5/2017, Samsung's software update to prevent the Galaxy Note7 battery from recharging will be pushed to your Note7. The battery will no longer recharge. This Note7 was recalled and is banned on all flights in both checked and carry-on luggage. Your safety is our priority, please return your Note7 to the place you purchased for an exchange. For more details go to att.com/note7

Sprint has confirmed that its subscribers will be getting the update, though it won't be done quite as early as Samsung initially suggested. In a statement today, the carrier said that "Samsung will release a software update beginning on January 8, 2017 that will disable all remaining Sprint Note7 devices from being able to hold a charge." Even though the charge-blocking firmware won't be going out from December 19, Sprint's advice is still that Note 7 owners should turn their phones off and leave them unplugged.

As for T-Mobile, that has the most aggressive release schedule for the new update. The carrier says that it plans to begin pushing the software out from December 27, 2016. At that point, the last remaining power in your Note 7 will be the final charge it has: once it's all used up, plugging the phone into the charger won't do anything.

Samsung's recall has, in the grand scheme of things, been surprisingly successful. The company says that more than 93-percent of Note 7 handsets in the US have already been returned for a refund or exchange, astonishing given the process only began in October. Then again, life as a Note 7 owner hasn't been especially smooth-going, particularly if you want to travel.

The FAA has banned the phone from air travel, irregardless of whether it's powered off or switched on, its charge status, or whether it's in checked bags or hand luggage. Indeed, the warning that the Note 7 isn't welcome has become a part of the airline boarding process.

According to a recent third-party investigation, Samsung's rush to make a slimmer device may have been the primary fault here. The fire risk is down to the positive and negative plates of the lithium-ion battery touching, researchers say, which can happen because although batteries expand and contract as a matter of course, Samsung didn't leave enough room for that to take place safely.