Samsung’s second recall of sold Galaxy Note 7 units started in October last year and the operation seems to be coming to an end. The South Korean smartphone maker has just announced that it recalled over 96% of all Galaxy Note 7 units.
This means that less than 4% of Note 7 smartphones are still in the wild, and the company will collect them in the next few weeks. Samsung has worked with wireless carriers and third-party retailers, urging them to take “aggressive action” to limit the units’ ability to work as regular smartphones.
By aggressive action Samsung was referring to the software updates that many carriers pushed out, especially in the US. The software update was meant to block the phone’s capacity to charge; unlocked Note 7 models received the update last year, while US carriers preferred to wait until after the holidays. Verizon was the last to release such an update on January 5.
In South Korea, Samsung pushed out an update that completely blocked the Note 7 from charging and thus prevented it from turning on. Owners can only power on their devices by connecting them to a power outlet. Obviously, this is just for backing up information before returning the phone to Samsung.
Samsung also mentioned the US Department of Transportation’s decision to lift the requirement for airlines to make pre-boarding notifications regarding the Note 7. This would mean that most units sold in the US have been returned.
Previously, airlines were required to notify all passengers of the Galaxy Note 7 recall and such smartphones had been banned on flight. There were some cases in which the Galaxy Note 7 started catching fire on flight and, in one case, an airplane made an emergency landing after a crew member discovered a Note 7 mobile data network on the plane, although such a device wasn’t brought on the flight.
Samsung is expected to announce the results of its investigation regarding the Galaxy Note 7 later this month.