Months after Samsung recalled all units of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the company has confirmed it does plan to offer refurbished versions of the device for sale or rental. However, most of the specific details of those plans have yet to be announced. Rumors about Galaxy Note 7’s return started popping up on the internet in February.
In a brief press release, Samsung said it will announce where it will offer the refurbished Galaxy Note 7 phones, along with release dates, after it has discussed the matter with wireless carriers and regulatory agencies in various markets, along with a look at the possible demand for such a phone.
Samsung held a partial recall and replacement program for the Galaxy Note 7 in September 2016 after a number of the phones caught fire, due to its battery overheating. However, the replacement program it set up still had too many of the units catching fire, which forced the company to issue a full recall of the smartphone in October 2016. The company conducted an investigation and in January it announced that the cause of the of Note 7’s problems was related to its batteries, and said it was creating a new eight-point check system to make sure those problems would not happen again.
Samsung also announced today that some Galaxy Note 7 units will have components, including semiconductors and camera modules, removed and used for test sample production purposes. Other Note 7 units will have materials like copper, nickel, gold and silver recycled by what the company claims will be “eco-friendly companies specializing in such processes.” Samsung also said it plans to join the European Union’s R&D and test efforts to help develop new eco-friendly processing methods.
A move to bring back a recalled device is something of a risky move for Samsung. The company moved quickly to issue its recall of the Note 7 in the fall, and by all accounts it has tried its best to assure consumers that it has taken steps so that its future phones are not at risk of exploding. It will be interesting to see which markets will sell these refurbished Note 7 phones, and how they will be marketed.
The news comes two days before Samsung plans to officially announce its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, which will also be the first phone from the company that will be under its new battery testing program.
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