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Samsung Has a Band-Aid for Exploding Note 7s

As Samsung works to staunch the bleeding from the beating its hazardous Galaxy Note 7 phablets are taking, the company will issue a temporary solution for those holding onto the hot handset. That stop-gap? A software update that will limit battery charges to 60 percent, tipping the company's hand that some faulty batteries can't handle a complete recharge.

This news comes from The Associated Press, which recently reported that South Korean newspaper Seoul Shinmun carried an ad from Samsung announcing the update. It's unclear if or when the update will reach devices in the U.S., but the ad said that the patch will roll out to South Korean users on Sept. 20.

MORE: 7 Reasons I Won't Buy a Galaxy Note 7

Either way, publicly releasing this update should provide a solid incentive for Note 7 owners to participate in Samsung's recall and send their devices back for a replacement. In our full Note 7 review, Samsung's phone lasted 10 hours and 26 minutes on our battery test (web surfing over 4G LTE), but this update could limit the device to just under 6.5 hours. That's more than 2 hours less than the average for smartphones (8:52), and probably short enough to make users hand over the dangerous device.

The Note 7's battery life performance before the upcoming charge-limiting software update.

The Note 7's battery life performance before the upcoming charge-limiting software update.

This news comes on the heels of a report of Samsung filing a claim with the South Korean government that Note 7s are exploding because of a production problem that allowed the Lithium Ion batteries to overheat. According to Bloomberg News, the batteries broke bad after the positive and negative poles pressed into contact, which leads to a short circuit and excessive heat. It's unknown if that is the same flaw that led to a Samsung Galaxy Core burning a six-year-old Brooklyn Boy.

According to that same Bloomberg report, Samsung may release a safe-to-use Note 7s starting on Sept. 19, but the company has yet to make that official. Meanwhile, Apple's joy in its rival's failure is likely muted now that its iOS 10 update is bricking phones, which admittedly isn't as bad as lighting them on fire.