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Note7 owners: Samsung Is Forcing A Software Update To Limit Your Battery

Image: AFP/Getty Images

If you’re still holding onto your original Samsung Galaxy Note7, otherwise known as a potential fire hazard, that smartphone is about to become semi-useless.

On Sept. 5, Samsung Electronics Australia announced it was recalling the country’s 51,060 Galaxy Note7 smartphones after faulty batteries were blamed for a number of fires and injuries globally.

Now, in an attempt to keep people safe, the company is going to the extraordinary step of pushing a new mandatory software update on local customers, which will limit battery charge to 60 percent to prevent the phone’s from overheating.

The update will be released Wednesday and an alert will appear on the phone, after which the update will automatically download and install. Timing will depend on the carrier network.

After the update is complete, another alert will suggest the user turn off the device and return it to the store. According to a Samsung statement, this alert will appear any time the phone is turned on or charging, if users do not return it.

Australian customers can exchange or refund their Galaxy Note7.

“We are working to identify and execute all appropriate measures to protect customer safety,” Samsung Electronics Australia mobile vice-president Richard Fink said in a statement.

“We continue to urge customers who still have an affected Galaxy Note7 to complete a data backup and factory reset before powering down the device and returning it to their place of purchase to seek a replacement Galaxy Note7 or alternate remedy of their choice.”

A separate software update will be issued to replacement Note7 devices to change the battery icon to green, indicating its battery is safe to use.

Samsung’s plan to use a software update to prevent phones from overcharging and overheating was reported by the Associated Press earlier in September, but it was not clear at the time it would apply to users outside South Korea.

Samsung has been approached regarding whether the software update will also be pushed outside Australia.

Ariel Bogle

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