Samsung Plans Software Update to Limit Battery Charges

Samsung Electronics Co. announced a software update that limits how much users can charge its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and recalled some of phones in China for the first time.

Samsung said Wednesday that the software update would be available from Sept. 20 in South Korea first. The software attempts to cut the risk of phones catching fire by limiting the battery charge to 60 percent.  It is still unclear whether the company will push the update in other countries, including U.S.

“We are considering every possible measure to protect consumers’ safety and this update is part of our ongoing efforts to urge consumers to power down their device and participate in the replacement program,” the company said.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 phone in multiple markets last month. After that, the company received 35 cases of the device overheating or catching fire. Samsung announced to recalled 2.5 million Galaxy Note smartphones on Sept.2 in 10 countries.

In China, Samsung has now initiated a plan to recall 1,858 test devices distributed to consumers before the Note 7 went on sale Sept. 1 after China’s aviation regulators also warned travelers against using the device in-flight or stowing it in luggage. China wasn’t part of the Sept. 2 recall because Samsung said phones shipped there didn’t contain faulty batteries.

This is the deepest crisis for Samsung in recent years. Samsung lost $22 billion in market value over the two days from Friday after regulators, airlines and the company itself warned against the fire risk of the smartphone.

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