As of October 11, the Galaxy Note 7 has been put out of its misery by Samsung. The company announced the end of production for the beleaguered smartphone just a day after it halted sales and a short while after limiting the numbers being made at its factories. In a statement, Samsung said it is “putting consumer safety as top priority,” and, “reached a final decision to halt production of the Galaxy Note 7.”
Now, a few weeks later, the firm is looking for ways to “limit the potential environmental impact” of all those useless handsets.
“We recognize the concerns around the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 and are currently reviewing possible options that can minimize the environmental impact of the recall in full compliance with relevant local environmental regulations,” Samsung said in a statement.
At this time, the Galaxy Note 7 isn’t being produced, isn’t being sold, and those that do remain aren’t being exchanged for another unit. Instead, Samsung is offering a refund or an exchange for another Samsung phone. The Galaxy Note 7 as we know it is now a thing of the past.
Further, to ensure that all users are actually exchanging their faulty handsets, Samsung is planning on releasing a software update that, quite simply, will pester and annoy owners into bringing in their Galaxy Note 7’s.
As Samsung noted in a statement late last week, “We remain focused on collecting the outstanding Galaxy Note 7 phones in the market. To further drive participation, we will be releasing a software update in the coming days that will limit the phone’s ability to charge beyond 60 percent, as well as issue a reminder pop-up notification every time a consumer charges, reboots, or turns on the screen of their Note 7 device.”
Sales of the Note 7 stopped on October 10, and stores with the phone still in stock were told not to make like-for-like exchanges. At that time, first-generation versions of the Note 7 were being swapped for replacement models that had been passed as safe by Samsung. This followed the recall which began in August, after Note 7 phones began catching fire, or dangerously overheating. However, the replacement models also suffered from problems, which led to Samsung’s decision to end sales and now, production.
Samsung hailed the Note 7 as the “Next Big Thing” upon its announcement, and analysts predicted sales topping 12 million in 2016, a healthy addition to the more than 75 million phones it shipped out in the three months leading up to the summer. The company hasn’t released sales numbers or recall numbers for the Galaxy Note 7, but early estimates indicated it sold around 2.5 million Note 7 phones in the first weeks of release alone. Samsung could not have made the decision to end production and sales lightly.
Will the Galaxy Note 7 rise again? It’s unclear whether this marks the absolute end for the device. The total investment in its development must already be huge, and it’s questionable how many people will want to buy another, further revised version even if it is deemed safe by Samsung. Perhaps fans of big Samsung phones will now have to wait for the Galaxy Note 8.
If you own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung warns you to stop using it and keep it switched off. Visit our guide to the recall here to find out what to do next.
Article originally published in October. Updated on 11-05-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added news of a software update that will further drive Galaxy Note 7 exchanges.