Samsung Galaxy Note7 replacements arrive, it pushes switchover hard

Samsung says that as of yesterday it has received stocks of replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones. And adds that if yours hasn’t been replaced, it will have a reduced battery capacity. See here for details on the recall.

The announcement with regard to the new phones does not mention how customers will be notified that their replacement phones are ready, but customers should have been informed of the procedure on returning their original phone to their place of purchase. A software update (which Samsung implies has not yet been installed in the replacement phones) will be “made available” for the replacement Galaxy Note7 phones and this will “introduce a green battery icon to identify that the new device does not have the reported battery issue and is safe to use.”

This seems like a smart solution to the problem of airlines banning carriage of these phones. They will now be able to adjust their policies to distinguish between fixed and potentially unsafe phones.

Speaking of the latter – the original phones still out there in the wild – Samsung still wants them returned:

“We continue to urge customers who still have an affected Galaxy Note7 to complete a data back-up 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,” says Richard Fink, Vice President IT & Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia.

In addition to urging, a bit of stick is being applied:

Samsung has also announced that an automatic software update will be released in Australia from September 21 to all original Galaxy Note7 smartphones purchased in this country.

The software update will automatically download and install to all original Galaxy Note7 smartphones that were purchased in Australia to limit the smartphone battery to a maximum charge of 60 per cent. The update is part of Samsung Australia’s ongoing commitment to safety in relation to the battery cell issue with original versions of the smartphone.

Note, it seems that this is a forced update which customers won’t have a chance to decline. The sixty per cent limitation is of course a safety measure. Batteries tend to heat up as they approach full charge, so there should be no more batteries catching fire in phones with this update. But it also semi-cripples the phone, especially for heavy users who are now much less likely to last the day without a recharge.

So bite the bullet, if you still have an original Samsung Galaxy Note7, and swap it over. Chances are that you’ll be able to do a straight one for one swap now that stock is in, instead of having to switch to an interim phone.