Samsung Planning to Bring Back Discontinued Galaxy Note 7 Devices as Refurbished
The model was discontinued after several overheated and caught fire due to a battery problem
In a surprising development, South Korean telecommunications giant Samsung has announced plans to return its discontinued Galaxy Note 7 model smartphones to the market as "refurbished phones or rental phones."
Only some of the devices will be re-released; others will go through recycling processes that will take out parts such as camera modules and metals such as copper, nickel, gold, and silver.
A Samsung spokesman says that detailed sales plans—including the countries in which the devices may return—are not finished yet. That particular detail, he says, will depend on several factors, including demand and consultations with regulators and carriers around the globe.
The company stopped producing the Galaxy Note 7 last year after several models overheated and caught fire due to a problem in the battery, a circumstance which makes the announcement of its return surprising to many.
"This is one of those decisions that make you stop and scratch your head," said Bryan Ma, vice president for devices research at research company IDC.
Regulators around the world, including the Federal Aviation Administration, banned the devices on flights due to safety concerns. According to an official with the South Korean transportation ministry, the ban is still in effect.
The New York Times (NYT) reports that Samsung lost $5 billion as a result of the incidents, which also heavily damaged its reputation.