Will it? won't it? Samsung might remotely deactivate faulty Note 7 handsets

Existing users of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phones have been asked by the company to return their handsets in exchange for new ones. However, reports claim that if certain users choose to keep their handsets, they may not be able to use them at all.

Samsung today denied reports on remotely deactivating older Galaxy Note 7 handsets which have not been returned by customers.

Samsung announces Galaxy Note 7 exchange programme in UK and Ireland

Given that Samsung is replacing all Galaxy Note 7 handsets and not just the affected ones and offering brand new VR headsets as well, it is hard to imagine why anyone would choose to keep their handsets at the risk of personal safety. But if some users haven't seen the news in the last few weeks and are unaware, Samsung may remotely render their phones unusable to protect them.

According to Sammobile, the company may deactivate all Galaxy Note 7 handsets which are not returned to it by existing users by the end of this month. Samsung, along with network operators who sold Galaxy Note 7s, have already begun contacting all Galaxy Note 7 users and are asking them to get their handsets exchanged so the process looks very streamlined at the moment.

Samsung has, however, denied that it will remotely deactivate all existing Galaxy Note 7 handsets after September 30. In a statement to Android Central, the company also said that if it chooses to deactivate existing handsets anytime in the future, it will say so on its website.

Got a Samsung Galaxy Note 7? What not to do & how to return it

While deactivation isn't a bad thing, especially since customers are getting free replacements, Samsung may not want to confirm the same just in case it is not able to replace all handsets by the end of the month. Setting a timeline for all replacements may also depend on how soon the company can manufacture replacement handsets to cover for devices that have been sold so far.

Samsung will also be adding a mark on replacement boxes to signify that they are new devices and that they don't suffer from battery cell issues unlike existing handsets. The mark will be a blue 'S' symbol on the barcode sticker. Additionally, you will also be able to check if your handset is safe by entering your handset's IMEI number on an upcoming IMEI database tool that the company may launch soon.

The actual replacements of Galaxy Note 7 handsets  will begin on September 19th and it is possible that the new handsets will feature ATL batteries until Samsung fix existing issues with Samsung SDI batteries and issue an announcement to that effect. If you own a Galaxy Note 7 handset and do not hear from either Samsung or the operator from whom you bought the device in the next few days, you can also contact the Samsung customer service team on 0330 7261000.

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