Samsung revealed around 10 per cent of European Galaxy Note 7 owners have failed to return their devices some three months after the South Korean vendor originally recalled the unit.
The company is preparing to issue a software update on 15 December to halve the (already limited) maximum level of charge in the devices’ batteries in a bid to encourage the hold-out owners to respond to a device replacement programme Samsung initiated in September.
The latest software update will restrict battery capacity to 30 per cent of its original level and follows previous software updates limiting the maximum level of charge to 60 per cent, BBC News reported, citing a company statement.
Samsung stated the previous battery restriction prompted high return rates among owners of what had been a flagship smartphone model and confirmed the latest software update is targeted directly at the remaining 10 per cent of owners who have yet to participate in the replacement programme. The battery limits are aimed solely at European users, with Samsung taking more drastic measures in other markets including turning off all radio components entirely, BBC News reported.
The Korean vendor axed the Galaxy Note 7 in early October after several devices caught fire. While Samsung initially blamed a faulty batch of batteries from Samsung SDI for the problem, it conceded defeat after some initial replacement devices featuring batteries from other suppliers were affected by the same problem.
In November, Samsung embarked on a campaign to rebuild consumer trust in its brand, first through a series of adverts in the US announcing it was conducting a thorough investigation and latterly with promises it would publish the results of the probe by the year-end.
Analysts at research company Gartner in November blamed the Galaxy Note 7 incident for a 14 per cent year-on-year drop in Samsung’s Q3 smartphone shipments and noted that the vendor must make a success of the launch of its next flagship device.
IDC analysts previously predicted the Samsung brand would not face any long-term damage following a poll of US consumers shortly after the vendor dropped the device, though the research company agreed Samsung would likely face some short term pain.
Samsung’s rival Apple was recently forced to confront its own burning issue following reports a number of its iPhone 6 devices had caught fire in China. The US vendor blamed damaged devices for the problem, which affected eight products.