Samsung issuing software update in South Korea to limit Note7 charging

Android / Mobile / Tech
Samsung Note7

The company is going to issue a software update in South Korea that will limit the Note7 charging capability to around 60% to help prevent the battery from overheating and exploding.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 burst out of the gate to rave reviews and warm receptions but then it all quickly burst into flames. A problem with the Note7 charging system and battery have dealt a huge blow to Samsung and its flagship smartphone. As of this morning the reports are that at least 70 Note7 devices have exploded. One injured a six-year old child and another destroyed a family’s Jeep SUV. There had been rumor that Samsung would start remotely deactivating all Note7’s for public safety but since that report, Samsung has refuted the claim. But just because a company refutes the report doesn’t mean they hadn’t thought about it and discussed it. There was internet backlash over Samsung taking that extreme measure so that might have prompted them to double think the idea.

Instead Samsung has decided to take a different measure to protect the public from their exploding device, at least in South Korea. The company is going to issue a software update in that country that will limit the Note7 charging capability to around 60% to help prevent the battery from overheating and exploding.

“It is a measure to put consumer safety first but we apologize for causing inconvenience,” Samsung Electronics said. The update for South Korean users will start at 2 a.m. on Sept. 20, it said. Samsung “has to contain the battery explosions but people are not returning the phone,” said Peter Yu, an analyst at BNP Paribas. “It is taking a desperate measure.”

Limiting the Note7 charging to 60% is not as desperate a measure as remotely deactivating the phone but it’s less shocking to the customer at least. While we received some negative feedback from at least one reader about our initial report out of France that indicated that Samsung would “brick” customers Note7’s. This software update downgrade is just short of bricking users phones and is probably Samsung’s first effort to gently prod those who refuse to return the device into returning it. No word on when or if this software update will hit the rest of the world, it’s likely Samsung is testing the waters in its own country to see how it goes over.

Keeping the battery level low could reduce the risk of overheating, but would be equivalent to getting a downgrade of a top-of-the-line phone, said Kim Young Woo, an analyst at SK Securities. The Galaxy Note series is one of the most expensive handset lineup made by Samsung.

While the initial report of Samsung bricking phones can be questioned, it also cannot be ruled out. We’ll see what moves Samsung makes over the next few days as more reports of exploding phones come into the news cycle.

What do you think of Samsung downgrading the Note7 charging capability in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  Source: The Globe And Mail
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