Samsung, carriers pushing update with safety alert to un-exchanged Galaxy Note 7 phones

By Mike Wuerthele

Amidst reports of replacement stock finally arriving at retail, Samsung is taking additional steps to ensure that Galaxy Note 7 owners turn in devices for exchange, and is in the process of pushing an update to all un-repaired devices urging owners to power down the device and comply with the recall.

On late Tuesday, Samsung confirmed that it was working with U.S wireless carriers on a software update for the beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 for users to be able to easily confirm that the device had been repaired, or had yet to be exchanged.

With update VRS2APHE, users with an older, un-repaired model will see a warning about the recall program, with information on how to turn in the phone. A device showing a green battery icon indicates a new model with the new battery.

At the same time, Samsung confirmed that it had shipped 500,000 replacements for the Galaxy Note 7 to U.S. wireless carriers for consumer replacement. AppleInsider has learned that some of the retail arms of AT&T and Verizon have received "a handful" of devices for consumer swap.

A Samsung spokeswoman notes that the "vast majority" of Galaxy Note 7 consumers have opted for a refund, or a different Galaxy-branded phone.

Samsung issued a voluntary recall worldwide for the device after wide-spread reports of battery fires during charging, and drew criticism from the U.S. Consumer Protection and Safety Commission for how the matter was being handled. All customers who have purchased a Galaxy Note 7 should now be able to swap the device for a new one either online or at wireless carrier corporate-owned stores.

Before the well-publicized battery fires in the Galaxy Note 7 forcing the recall, reviewers and YouTube examiners discovered that the Gorilla Glass 5 used for the screen of the device was significantly more susceptible to screen scratches than other smartphones, iPhone 7 family included.

Verizon has re-launched sales of the device in the U.S., but no consumer delivery date has been announced.