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Verizon Wireless agrees to brick Samsung Galaxy Note 7

After initially refusing, the wireless provider will push a software update disabling the recalled phone.


The recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will get a pushed software update rendering it unusable.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon Wireless is changing its tune. The wireless provider on Friday said it will issue a crippling software update to remaining Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.

Samsung last week announced plans for the update to make sure the remaining 7 percent of Note 7 owners turn in their phones. The update prevents the device from charging and "eliminates the ability for it to work as a mobile device."

Samsung is releasing the software update on Monday, but Verizon customers won't receive it until January 5, 2017. The delay is to allow Note 7 owners to contact family, first responders and emergency medical professionals during the holiday travel season, according to Verizon's Note 7 recall site .

Verizon Wireless, the biggest wireless provider in the US, originally said it wouldn't issue the update for the recalled device because of the added risk it would pose to users who could not switch to another phone.

Samsung issued a global recall of the Note 7 in September due to battery issues, which caused some units to overheat and catch fire. Following a second recall in mid-October, Samsung permanently stopped production of the device. In the US, 93 percent of recalled Note 7 devices have been returned to the carriers and Samsung.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint will also issue the software updates from Samsung. T-Mobile's update will come December 27, while AT&T will release the update on January 5. Sprint will push out the new software to its users on January 8.