Following the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung was left with 4.3 million returned smartphones and financial losses caused by the flagship’s discontinuation. Now, the South Korean company announced the strategy for refurbishing the remaining Galaxy Note 7 phones.
Earlier this year, there was a rumor that Samsung could refurbish some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones and sell them in emerging markets like India and Vietnam. Later on, Samsung’s division in India refuted the rumor, leaving us all to think that a refurbished Note 7 would never see the light of day.
However, reports on such a move continued to surface, even indicating the model number SM-N935 for a refurbished Galaxy Note 7 heading to the market in South Korea. Today, Samsung confirmed the rumors in its report on principles to recycle returned Note 7 devices in an environmentally friendly way.
Samsung intends to analyze the possibility of offering Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones. The list of countries where the units might arrive will be announced after consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers. Such a move would make sense, considering that the only fault found in Galaxy Note 7 units was related to the battery. If the battery is swapped for a new unit, the refurbished Note 7 device should technically be safe to use.
The units that won’t be refurbished will see their components detached for reuse, including semiconductors and camera modules. Finally, Samsung will perform environmentally friendly methods to extract precious metals, like copper, nickel, gold and silver.
Samsung’s recycling report on the Galaxy Note 7 comes after a Greenpeace protestor took the spotlight during Samsung’s MWC presentation last month and held up a sign that read “re-think, reuse, recycle.” Following the incident, Samsung officials said that the company is “committed to working closely with regulatory bodies, as well as carrier partners, to ensure a responsible disposal plan for our devices.”
Update: Sadly, Samsung won't be selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 units in the US, while other countries might get it under another name. The company stated for The Verge: "The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact. The product details including the name, technical specification and price range will be announced when the device is available. Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices for rent or sale in the US."