With just one day left for Samsung to unveil its premium flagship Galaxy S8 in the United States, the Korean tech giant has announced that it will sell refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units in some markets. The company also stated that units which are not fit for sale will be recycled for parts.
Samsung on Monday told Reuters that it is planning to sell refurbished versions of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. The premium smartphone was launched in August last year, but following the debacle of fire and explosion of some of the units, Samsung after two months made a global recall of around four million units of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
Samsung and independent research in January this year analysed the issue behind the self-combustion of the units and claimed that different battery problems from two suppliers- Samsung’s own SDI Co. Ltd and Amperex Technology Ltd caused some Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units to explode.
The South Korean tech giant (as per the report) estimated that it took a hit of roughyl $5.5 billion profit over three quarters from the ‘Note 7’s trouble.’ While the damage to Samsung’s revenue was pretty hefty, what was worse was the imapct on the company’s reputation. The company is under pressure to turn its image around after the ‘burning battery scandal’ and had previously not shared any official word on its plan for recovered phones, the report cited. “Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones, applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand,” Samsung said in a statement. The company further mentioned that will consider the markets and release dates for the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units accordingly.
Samsung is also planning to recover and use or sell reusable components such as semiconductors and camera modules and extract rare metals such as copper, gold, nickel and silver from Galaxy Note 7 devices by utilising eco-friendly companies that specialise in such processes. The recycling will of course be done for units that are considered unfit for sale, although we are not sure how Samsung plans on determining that.
Separately, Samsung in a statement to TheVerge said, “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,” suggesting that the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 might get renamed. Green Peace had been putting immense pressure on Samsung to release a statement on just how it planned to take care of the millions of recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units, given the environmental impact. One of the protesters almost made it onto the main stage during Samsung’s press conference at Mobile World Congress.
While it can safely be said that Samsung will not be able to make up for the revenue lost from the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, regardless of how many refurbished phones they sell, it is good to see the company take a stance that has minimal environmental impact. A report by Motherboard suggested that almost 500 pounds of raw minerals were needed to make the phone. It is good to see that those resources will not go to waste.
There is currently no word on which countries will be receiving the refurbishes units and for how much. However, we expect to have some more details at the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch event tomorrow.