Samsung has confirmed that the UK exchange programme for the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is now live. It will also issue a compulsory software update that will limit battery to 60 per cent to stop devices overheating.
The programme was initiated in response to serious problems with the battery in Note 7 devices that has caused several units to overheat, catch fire and explode. The recall is expected to cost Samsung as much as $1bn.
Anyone with a Note 7 in the UK is urged to return it to Samsung or the vendor from which they bought it to receive a replacement.
"For customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices we now ask that you power down your device and return to using your previous phone," the firm said. "We will voluntarily replace your Galaxy Note 7 device with a new one, beginning on 19 September."
Samsung explained that newer devices have had their design amended to display the battery icon in green, rather than white, to indicate a safe and up-to-date handset.
An IMEI status page will be launched so that customers can see whether their device is affected by the battery fault.
Samsung also confirmed that it is rolling out a software update to original Note 7 devices that will limit the charging level to 60 per cent and make it impossible for the battery to overheat.
Samsung has confirmed the update is compulsory.
"There will be an advance warning that the device will update but it is a compulsory update," a spokesperson told V3.
The move is notable for Samsung, but still does not go as far as a government-mandated recall, as has happened in the US, where the Consumer Product Safety Commission has ordered the firm to recall all devices.
The Note 7 recall has been nothing short of a disaster for Samsung. The company's share price suffered a dramatic fall, and the problems came just as rival Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Samsung is thought to have rushed delivery of the Note 7 to try to beat Apple to market, but this has backfired and the firm now faces a huge bill and a potential loss of customer trust.
However, Samsung clearly hopes that the exchange programme will persuade customers to stay with the Note 7 regardless of the problems.
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