Samsung will reduce Galaxy Note 7’s battery capacity via automatic update
For now, the over-the-air update will be confined to South Korea, where Samsung took out a front page ad in the Seoul Shinmun, a South Korean newspaper. The ad notes that the devices will be limited to just 60% charge, specifically to drive users towards swapping out their hardware. It is a measure to put consumer safety first, but “we apologize for causing inconvenience,” according to the AP.
Samsung is reportedly in talks with mobile carriers worldwide to discuss pushing similar updates to other devices. The issue underscores one of the problems with smartphones in general. With Apple or Microsoft, the company responsible for the operating system also has the ability to push updates for it. Both OS developers have taken steps in recent years to ensure all users are protected by security updates and bug fixes whether they want to be or not. (Microsoft’s policies with Windows 10 have been controversial for pushing non-security updates and a general lack of communication around patches — security updates, in and of themselves, aren’t controversial). The Android ecosystem is much more fragmented and no single company claims responsibility for pushing updates to consumers.