T-Mobile is first carrier to remotely kill Note 7 batteries

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A South Korean employee works to provide replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones at a telecommunications shop in Seoul on September 19, 2016. Samsung started on September 19 to provide users of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone the first batch of replacements with new batteries, after a series of battery explosions prompted a major recall worldwide. / AFP / JUNG YEON-JE

SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung Galaxy Note 7 holdouts will soon have dead phones.

T-Mobile released an update on Wednesday to prevent Note 7 users from charging devices, rendering them useless. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint will roll out similar updates the first week of January.

The move will force the hands of those who have not yet traded in the faulty device to finally get an alternative.

Samsung announced the U.S.-based battery-killing program earlier in this month. Verizon initially said it wouldn’t participate due to “added risk” for users without alternate phones, but the company changed its mind and will push an update on January 5.

Carriers killing the Note 7 is the grand finale of the exploding phone debacle that began with a massive recall of Samsung’s flagship devices. In September, the company recalled millions of Note 7 phones after a battery issue caused some to catch fire.

Most users already exchanged their phones. According to Samsung, about 93% of Note 7 devices have been returned in the U.S.

Samsung also limited the Note 7 battery charging in Canada earlier this month. The devices are currently unable connect to any Canadian mobile network.

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