The controversial Samsung Galaxy Note 7 might be making a surprise return to the market.
The company has made a statement about how it intends to prevent the Note 7 debacle turning into an environmental disaster after third parties such as Greenpeace demanded to know what would become of the company’s huge stockpile of returned handsets.
As well as stating that salvageable components shall be detached for reuse” and that processes such as metals extraction shall be performed using environmentally friendly methods”, the Korean tech giant also added that: Devices shall be considered to be used as refurbished phones or rental phones where applicable.”
The ‘where applicable’ bit could still be a bit of a sticking point. Many airlines still have a blanket ban on the phone, for instance, and many mobile networks still implement enforced restrictions designed to deter any owners who had been unwilling to return their devices from using them.
However, the company did say that it will announce a release date for refurbished models at some stage in the future, along with a new name.
The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact,” Samsung added in a statement to The Verge. 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.”
The Note 7 was recalled in September after a number of reports citing overheating and explosions.The company had prior to the recall announced a delay in the rollout of the Galaxy Note 7 to several markets.
In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue,” Samsung said at the time. To date (as of September 1st) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market.
However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7. For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks."
Then began an ongoing effort to actually convince owners to hand their handsets back.
Having blocked the Gear VR app, limited the battery to 60 per cent capacity via an update and evencut the device off from networksin some countries, Samsung then rolled out a second update that cut battery capacity to just 30 per cent, rendering the phone virtually useless.