Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has announced its intention to bring back the refurbished versions of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to the market after the major incident when this series was pulled from markets due to fire-prone batteries.
To recap, the Note 7s were permanently eliminated from the market in October, roughly two months from the launch of the near- US$900 devices, as more of the phones self-ignited. An investigation found manufacturing problems in batteries produced by two different companies which are Samsung SDI Co Ltd and Amperex Technology Ltd.
However, analysis from Samsung and independent researchers revealed that there are no other problems in the Note 7 devices except the batteries. This stirred market to speculate that Samsung will recoup some of its losses by selling refurbished Note 7s. The company estimated a US$5.5bil (RM24.3bil) impact to its profit spread across three-quarters from the Note 7's incident.
Samsung, which had sold 3.06 million Note 7s in the market before retracting the phones off the market, had not revealed its plans with the recovered phones earlier. A source familiar with the matter was reportedly saying in Reuters that Samsung was considering the possibility of selling refurbished versions of the device or reusing some parts from the phones to cut the losses.
"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, adding that it will release details of the re-selling date soon.
The firm also had been under intense relationship with environment rights group Greenpeace and others, on the issue of coming up with environmentally friendly ways to deal with the recovered Note 7s.