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Samsung Galaxy Note 7
The Samsung Galaxy Note. (Samsung Photo)

That’s one way to phase out a phone.

Samsung says it will release an update for the Galaxy Note 7 later this month that will render the notoriously explosive smartphones useless. The update, due to rollout Dec. 19 “will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices.”

When it came to light that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were blowing up — and not in the good way — Samsung recalled the devices and offered refunds or exchanges for other Samsung phones, as well as bill credits. Samsung says that got 93 percent of Note 7s off the market, but 7 percent of the devices are still out there.

All U.S. carriers are letting customers exchange their replacement Note 7 devices.

Samsung issued the recall for the Note 7 in September following 35 verified reports of devices burning, smoking, or even exploding while charging, problems the company chalked up to a “battery cell issue.” Samsung offered to give users new Note 7s, but even the replacement devices turned out to be defective. That led Samsung to issue a global safety recall for all Note 7s, asking retail and carrier partners around the world to stop sales and telling consumers to power down their devices.

Samsung’s brand took a beating following these events. As The Verge noted, Samsung knew about problems with the replacement phones several days before one of them caught on fire and sent a Kentucky man to the hospital, but did not inform customers.

Recalling the Note 7 is sure to hit Samsung’s bottom line hard as it is in fierce competition Apple, which recently released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but investors haven’t panicked. Samsung’s stock cratered following the announcement of the initial recall and dropped again upon the announcement that the phone would be discontinued. But overall, Samsung stock is up close to 39 percent for the year. It has even increased from the stock’s high point of the year prior to the battery issues coming to light, up 5.5 percent since mid August.

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