Despite a well publicized recall and dramatic tales of fire, only 25% of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s have been returned so far in the U.S.
That number could jump starting Wednesday, when 500,000 new, non-exploding Note 7 devices will be available in the U.S. They will be in stock at the same retail locations and carriers where the original phones were sold.
The replacement devices are the first to become available to U.S. customers. Samsung ( started offering )replacements in South Korea and some European countries on Monday, but demand was low.
If Note 7 owners still don't return the older devices, Samsung has a plan B. It will push a software update to all recalled devices that warns anyone looking at the screen to turn it off and return it. The warning will pop up every time an old Note 7 is turned on or charged -- two potentially dangerous activities.
Samsung first alerted consumers to a problem with the Note 7 on September 2. The lithium-ion batteries in some phones were faulty and could overheat or even catch fire. Samsung sold 2.5 million of the phones globally before stopping sales. It believes the issue only impacts 0.1% of Note 7s, but is recalling all devices.
Since new and old Galaxy Note 7s will look identical from the outside, Samsung is tweaking the software to let people know they have a safe device. The battery indicator light on new Note 7s will be green instead of gray.
So far, customers have had a few options: return their devices for a full refund, exchange them for a different smartphone, or wait to get the new Note 7. It's unclear if the availability of a replacement device will help Samsung keep Note 7 customers from defecting to other Android options or even the new iPhone 7.
The company has been criticized for its early handling of the recall, and the proliferation of fire stories and photos could hurt future Note 7 sales. The device was released in August to mostly positive reviews.