New Zealand mobile networks are taking the nuclear option to tackle Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones — blacklisting them and kicking them off their networks.
From November 18, anyone who owns a Samsung Note 7 in the country will not be able to use it it to make calls, send texts, or connect to the web using mobile internet. (The phones will otherwise still be functional, and able to use Wi-Fi to get online.)
The drastic move is intended to encourage people to return their handsets, after Samsung issued a global recall and discontinued the phone because dozens of the devices melted, overheated, or exploded — injuring children, setting cars on fire, and gutting hotel rooms. (We heard about the decision via The Telegraph.)
But huge numbers of people still have yet to trade in their devices. As of October 25, a third of Europeans still hadn’t taken theirs back, for example, a full two weeks after the recall. So to prevent further dangerous incidents, Samsung is taking more drastic measures to encourage returns.
In Europe, the South Korean company has pushed out an update that will limit the charge of Note 7’s at 60% — a move that aims to make the devices safer and put pressure on owners to hand them in. A similar software update has also been rolled out in South Korea.
The Note 7 was initially well-reviewed, but has cost Samsung billions after it was forced to recall millions of the devices. Even “safe” replacement devices were affected by the issue, leading to the company taking the nuclear option of discontinuing the device permanently.
In a statement, New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) CEO Geoff Thorn said: “Numerous attempts by all providers have been made to contact owners and ask them to bring the phones in for replacement or refund, this action should further aid the return of the remaining handsets.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.