Mobility

Verizon buys its users a little more time with the Galaxy Note7

Verizon has officially announced that it will push Samsung's update that will kill the Galaxy Note7. The update will roll out January 5, 2017.

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Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

After initially taking a hard stance against Samsung's over-the-air (OTA) update to brick all remaining Galaxy Note7 phones in the US, Verizon recently announced that it will push the update. However, Verizon will be pushing the update later than Samsung's announced date of December 19, 2016.

"Verizon will not be pushing this software update to your device until January 5, 2017. We want to make sure you can contact family, first responders, and emergency medical professionals during the holiday travel season," Verizon said on its website.

Samsung originally announced the update in early December, as an effort to finally curb the use of the Galaxy Note7 smartphone, which has had numerous problems with overheating. Samsung's recall page said that the purpose of the update would be to "prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices."

SEE: Samsung wants to deactivate all Galaxy Note7s; Verizon says 'no'

Initially, Verizon refused to push the update, claiming that it did not want to push an update so close to the holiday travel season and potentially prevent users from being able to contact family or first responders. However, the January 5 date seems to make it far enough past most major holidays in the US.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note7 first encountered problems a few weeks after its initial launch, when users began reporting the device was overheating and catching fire. The issue was found to be a battery manufacturing error, and replacement devices were then manufactured and issued to users after an update was released to cap battery life.

It was later found that the replacement devices suffered from the same overheating issues as well. After Samsung issued a recall on the device, the US government stepped in and issued its own recall as well.

Still, some users refused to give up their phones, leading to even more efforts from Samsung and carriers to get the devices back. The final update, if successfully deployed, could end the Galaxy Note7 saga once and for all.

Despite the issues, Samsung isn't planning on killing the Note line. The Galaxy Note8 will arrive in 2017.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Verizon has agreed to issue a Samsung OTA update that will brick remaining Galaxy Note7 devices in the US on January 5, 2017.
  2. Samsung's initial date for the update was December 19, 2016, and Verizon refused to send it at first.
  3. The update could end the Galaxy Note7 debacle, but Samsung is planning a Note8 for 2017.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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