Verizon Refuses to Comply with Samsung's Directive to Issue a Software Update to Shut down Customer's Note7 Smartphones
Last week Patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung Set to Bomb their U.S. Note7 Zombies out of Existence on December 19." The report noted that last month New Zealand's telecommunications industry announced Note7 customers would no longer be allowed on New Zealand's mobile network after November 18 – so as to force Note7 users to hand in their discontinued smartphone so that it could be returned to Samsung in Korea to be disposed of properly. Last week Samsung publicly notified stubborn Note7 customers refusing to hand in their smartphones that a software update would be issued that would automatically shut their phones off on December 19 from being able to be recharged. But plans don't always go according to plan.
It was reported in Korea today that AT&T, T-Mobile and two other mobile carriers plan to go ahead with the software update as Samsung has requested. The exception in this case is Verizon.
According to the report Verizon, the number one mobile carrier in the U.S., said it would not comply with the Samsung plan, because the move could cause problems in the case of an emergency.
The statement read: "We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first-responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation."
Verizon didn't confirm whether they would take full responsibility for any fires caused by their decision to go against Samsung's legal position. That could be a headache waiting to happen.
As for the situation in South Korea, approximately 80 percent of the recalled Note 7s have been returned. One source for the report noted that "Samsung is considering restricting battery charges for Note 7 devices sold in Korea, but they still remain careful due to possibly strong repercussions from remaining users. Once Samsung confirms its decision, the nation's three mobile carriers will issue statements, but nothing has been decided at the moment."
While it's certainly hypocritical for Samsung not to pressure their local customers equally with their software update, the pressure was highest in the U.S. so as to avoid any complications in the recall with U.S. authorities.