The South Korean popular smartphone giant, Samsung, has confirmed that it will bring the Galaxy Note 7 as a refurbished smartphone in some markets depending on regulatory approvals and local demands. The announcement appears to walk back on what Samsung initially pledged last fall, when it said it would dispose of the Note 7 and had no plans to repair or refurbish them. After announcing last year that it would simply “safely dispose of the phones,” the company today addressed plans to offer them back to the public in a newer, safer form. The move is an attempt to address vocal environmental concerns over its initial plans to trash a whole bunch of handsets all at once, no matter how safe it insisted the process would be.
Additionally, in an official blogpost, Samsung has announced that it has established three principles to ensure that all the Galaxy Note 7 units are recycled and processed in an environment-friendly way. First, the smartphone will be considered to be used as a refurbished or rental phone wherever applicable.
Second, reusable components and parts of the device would be detached for reuse. Third, valuable metals and other such parts shall be extracted using environment-friendly methods. This appears to be a walk back from the company’s plan to not bring back those units to the market.
Regarding the use of the Galaxy Note 7 as a refurbished or a rental device, the company will consult with local regulatory authorities, carriers, and local demand before releasing it in any market. The company will announce the release date of these refurbished units accordingly. For the remaining Galaxy Note 7 units, components such as processors and camera sensors would be detached by firms that specialize in this area, and those components would be used for testing and sample production purposes. The device is also rumored to be coming with a smaller capacity battery, so as to avoid the mistakes that got the company in hot water with two separate recalls during the seemingly endless saga, though Samsung is also apparently still working on those spec specifics.