Samsung has just announced that it has shipped 500,000 replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices to US retailers and carriers. They’ll be available beginning tomorrow to owners of the original, fire-hazard Note 7 for in-store exchanges. This first batch of replenishment stock is intended exclusively for exchanges; Samsung hasn’t yet said when Note 7 retail sales will officially resume — but VentureBeat claims the relaunch will come in late October.
In another update, Samsung now says 25 percent of Note 7 devices have so far been exchanged in the United States. In a statement to The Verge, a Samsung spokesperson described that figure as “an extraordinarily fast start toward achieving our goal of removing every single affected Note 7 from circulation.” But it also makes clear that there are still a lot of potentially dangerous Note 7s out there. Safe replacement devices will display a green-colored battery in the phone’s taskbar — a clear indicator for concerned airline and mass transit employees to look for when examining the phone.
Hopefully that exchange rate will shoot up much quicker now that consumers can make a direct swap for Samsung’s latest batch of Note 7 shipments — assuming they still want one.
Samsung will also soon deliver updated firmware to all existing Note 7s with a new safety notice prompt (displayed at the top of this article) urging owners to power down the device immediately. The prompt is a very polite way of saying “turn this thing off, you idiot” and will show up any time an at-risk Note 7 is powered on or plugged into a charger. Without any kind of kill switch to render the phones inoperable, this might be the best Samsung can do for now.