This is it. This is the final agonising throe in the the Samsung Galaxy Note7's long and painful death. Samsung is taking the again-unprecedented step of cutting every Galaxy Note7 off from accessing Australia's mobile phone carrier networks.
From December 15, Australia's carriers -- Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, and all mobile virtual network operators that use those telcos' infrastructure -- will cut off Note7 devices from accessing their cellular networks. From today, customers will be notified by Samsung and the carriers that this is happening, with three weeks of "ongoing commmunication and updates" continuing until after the cutoff date.
Apparently "only a small number of affected devices" are still in the wild in customers' hands in Australia, with the electronics giant saying that customers have in general responded well to the recall and over 90 per cent return rate. Those devices have already been gimped with a over-the-air software update to limit battery capacity and broken Gear VR compatibility. Customers are being urged to return phones to Samsung or telcos in exchange for a Galaxy S7 Edge, a refund of the difference in purchase price, and a "specific partner offer to the value of $250".
This is the fourth major step in Samsung's ongoing recall of the Note7. On September 5, after Gizmodo reported a likely global recall, Samsung's Australian arm announced a formal local recall of Galaxy Note7 devices after a high incidence rate of battery fires. On October 12, the recall was extended even to the replacement devices delivered to customers. Earlier this month, Samsung capped the battery charge of all Note7s, original and replacements, at 60 per cent to lower the possiblity of further fires.