Samsung plans to push out a software update for its now-defunct Galaxy Note 7 phone to customers throughout Europe on October 31, the company announced on Tuesday.
The update for the phone, which was prone to catching fire because of problems with its lithium-ion battery, will limit the battery charge to 60 percent of its full capacity.
Wait, you might be thinking, didn't Samsung issue this update a month ago? And hasn't it recalled all Galaxy Note 7s and stopped making the phone altogether? The answers to those questions: yes, yes and yes.
What then is the method behind this madness? It turns out that even though Samsung has used multiple methods to ask people to return their phones, some Galaxy Note 7 owners are hanging onto them.
"The update is the latest measure taken by the company to reduce customer risk and simultaneously drive all remaining Galaxy Note 7 customers in Europe to replace their device immediately," Samsung said in a press release. The company revealed it has already replaced two thirds of Note 7 devices in Europe, but that means the others are still out in the wild.
Following both the first and second recalls there's been evidence that some customers are happy to continue using the phone, in spite of the well-publicised risks and even though they definitely won't be allowed to take them on planes. By limiting battery life, Samsung is incentivising those customers to stop, as well as trying to ensure that its phones aren't involved in any further incidents. The company has taken this approach before.
Rewind to September 13 when Samsung issued a similar, if not identical, battery-limiting update to the Note 7 around the time of the first recall.
"The software update was found to effectively minimise customer risk, with no incidents reported among the devices that received this software update," Samsung said on Tuesday.
Samsung is offering all Note 7 owners the opportunity to either exchange their device for another Samsung phone or receive a full refund. If you're still in possession of a Note 7, the company and possibly your network or the shop where you bought the device already should have contacted you to explain how to go about this.
"Our absolute priority continues to be customer safety," Conor Pierce, Samsung's mobile and IT vice president for the UK and Ireland, said in a statement. "This new battery software update is specifically designed to remind all Galaxy Note 7 customers to replace their device at their earliest possible convenience through their local Galaxy Note 7 Replacement Programme."