Samsung is working to purge any remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices from use in Australia by having them cut off from mobile service connectivity from this month.
The device maker’s Australian arm said it is “working with local telecommunications companies to discontinue Australian network services” for any devices still in use locally.
It said that services would be discontinued “from December 15” and that affected customers would be notified of the change by their service providers today.
Samsung also said there would be “ongoing communication and updates about the Australian network discontinuation distributed to customers over the next three weeks, to ensure adequate notice is provided”.
The company said that “only a small number of affected devices” are still in circulation, and that most customers had heeded the company’s recall of the devices, which began September 5 in Australia.
Samsung was forced to scrap the flagship Note 7 device after a number of reports of the units catching fire.
The company began a recall of the devices after telcos paused sales over concerns about the device’s safety.
Samsung initially offered to replace the Note 7s, however when the replacement versions also suffered the same issues it was forced to recall all versions of the device.
Last month, Samsung Australia said it “deployed a software update to replacement Galaxy Note7 devices that were issued in Australia, minimising the maximum charge of every device to 60 percent.”
Now, by working with Australia’s mobile telcos, it hopes to further isolate any remaining devices in circulation.
The immediate financial hit for Samsung from the Note 7 fiasco is believed to be in the region of US$17 billion ($22.5 billion) globally.
However, the issue has also shaken faith in Samsung and its other devices, with analysts warning the company could feel the reverberations from the failure for many years, particularly if its next smartphone offering fails to hit the mark.
Samsung’s problems have been compounded by the Google’s entry into the smartphone market with its Pixel device, which has quickly gained market share at Samsung’s expense.
It was unclear at the time of publication whether Samsung’s decision to work with telcos to kick Galaxy Note 7 users off their networks would be a global initiative, or one that was limited to certain markets.
Samsung urged any remaining Note 7 users to power down the device and return them to the company.
It also said Australian customers could get a $250 credit – in addition to a refund for outright purchase of the device – if they returned it by December 22.