If you live in Canada and are still, somehow, for some ridiculous reason, hanging onto a Galaxy Note 7, your days of using the phone for pretty much anything will soon be over.
Samsung plans to make the Note 7 effectively unusable in Canada from next week forward. The phone will still turn on, but it won’t be able to connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or any cellular networks. So if you were planning to do anything like browse the internet or even make a phone call on the device, you’re going to be out of luck in the very near future.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are supposed to be cut off first, on December 12th. Cellular connections will follow, on the 15th. It’s not clear if Note 7 owners will be able to avoid this by dodging an update, or if Samsung can simply push the change out to any active phones.
The Note 7 will no longer be usable as a phone
This is the second time Samsung has disabled the Note 7’s cell access for an entire country. It previously did so in New Zealand, about a month ago, but for some reason it hasn’t spread to anywhere else until now. Other Note 7 measures, like limiting its battery capacity, hit select countries before spreading out to others, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung eventually expand this limitation, too.
In addition to cutting off wireless access, Samsung is also going to limit the Note 7’s battery in Canada, cutting down on how long it can be kept powered on. For now, Samsung hasn’t said exactly where it plans to draw the line on battery, though other countries have seen it cut down to 60 percent.
The changes should only apply to a limited number of Note 7 units, as most of them have been returned in Canada. Samsung says that “close to 90 percent” of Note 7s brought into the country have already been exchanged, so these additional measures are only to get that final group of holdouts.
Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether these limitations would expand to the US or other areas. Even without them, remaining Note 7 owners are still stuck with some serious annoyances, including a pop-up reminding them to return the phone every time they look at it.