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

T-Mobile is the first of the major wireless carriers to roll out an update for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to brick the remaining devices that haven’t already exploded or been exchanged.

The update, released yesterday by T-Mobile, will make it impossible to recharge the battery, rendering the phones useless when they run out of power. The update will display a reminder that the phones have been recalled and tell customers how they can return them.

Samsung announced plans earlier this month to release the update that prevents Note 7 phones from charging. Verizon and AT&T will release their versions of the update Jan. 5 and Spring will put out its update Jan. 8.

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 said 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.

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