More than 96 percent of all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the wild have been safely returned following a global recall that started in September, has revealed Samsung. It's believed that approximately 2.5 million units --- including unsold stock --- were in circulation at the start of the debacle four months ago. Based on this figure, the firm is still unable to account for around 100,000 devices.

However, if Samsung continues to partner with carriers to distribute lethal updates that remotely disable all variants of the handset, it shouldn't be too much longer until the remaining four percent are sent back. After all, if consumers choose to hold on to their Galaxy Note 7 as a form of memorabilia (I'm not entirely sure why you'd want to), they'll be left with nothing but a paperweight that burnt an $850 hole in their pocket.

The South Korean company also announced that as a result of the exceptionally high rate of participation in the U.S. Note 7 Refund and Exchange Program, the United States Department of Transportation has decided to remove the requirement for airlines to make pre-boarding notifications, instructing Galaxy Note 7 owners to turn off their device immediately and speak to a member of staff at the gate.

Unfortunately, the reason behind the Galaxy Note 7's tendency to burst into flames still remains unknown. During an event held at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Samsung America's president and chief operating officer, Tim Baxter, said that the manufacturer will release a report detailing the reason for the handset's unfortunate demise "very soon," though an exact date was not specified.