Along with Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, the South Korean company is expected to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7. Price of the two devices may cause the latest flagship device from Samsung to fight with its own cousin from last year.
At a glitzy launch event, Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest lineup of flagship phones, the Galaxy S8 and the S8+. While these new devices took the center stage, a rather humble announcement from the company managed to create quite a ripple in the mobile phone market. The company is planning to re-launch its 2016 flagship device, the Galaxy Note 7. Despite being aware of the worldwide negative publicity associated with the device, it is apparent that Samsung is confident that the way it handled the global recall may have helped erased any distrust about the device as well as the brand.
Samsung officially claimed that it plans to sell “some” of the recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. The company noted it was doing so to manage its stockpile in an “environmentally friendly” manner. It added that it would sell Note 7s as “refurbished phones or rental phones,” after consultations with regulators in various markets. In other words, Samsung could soon resubmit the devices to regulatory authorities and attempt to re-certify the devices.
— GURU8 (@Guru8Tech) March 28, 2017
After the persistent reports about exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices started doing the rounds, the South Korean company did not waste time in claiming these were isolated incidents that might have occurred due to faulty or counterfeit chargers. Samsung swiftly took stock of the situation and began recalling the devices in an organized manner. Apart from the recalls, Samsung issued multiple warnings to buyers who continued to use the device and even issued an Over The Air (OTA) update that attempted to cripple the device’s communication protocols.
Over the course of the recall, reports indicated the company brought back about 4 million of the flagship smartphones over concerns that batteries could overheat and burst into flames. After a thorough investigation, Samsung even openly acknowledged the core issue, and announced how it addressed those problems with the vendors. Essentially, Samsung blamed faulty batteries, and more specifically, their internal circuitry, for the problem. The company is expected to have lost approximately $5 billion in revenue.
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Owing to the sheer number of devices, there was a concern about disposal of the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices. Needless to add, if the devices were classified and handled as waste, they would certainly pose a huge environmental hazard.
According to the official statement regarding Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the company said that the devices would be “recycled and processed in an environmentally friendly manner” with any salvageable components detached for reuse and metals extracted by companies specializing in recycling, reported CTV News. Although the statement implies that the devices won’t be treated as waste, it is apparent that the Galaxy Note 7 would not be treated as a smartphone. Instead, the last year’s flagship device would be treated as a non-functioning or dead device.
— Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) March 29, 2017
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 featured an impressive list of hardware components that can be considered as competitive even in 2017. The smartphone sported a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED Quad HD display that is still considered as one of the best in the smartphone industry today. An octa-core processor as well as 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory that was complimented with a dedicated microSD card slot that was able to take cards up to 256 GB offered plenty of power and storage. The most prominent feature, however, was the back or primary camera. The 12 MP shooter instantly became a benchmark for other smartphones.
Although Samsung’s recycling method is noteworthy, many buyers would undoubtedly wait for the refurbished devices. The statement mentioned about sale of such devices:
“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. The markets and release dates will be determined accordingly.”
Although Samsung is yet to confirm the price of refurbished Galaxy Note 7, buyers can expect a reduction of about 3 to 8 percent over the original price of more than $800. According to industry experts, Samsung has about 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices in stock. At the time of launch, the device sported a 3,500mAh battery. Experts speculate the company could swap them out for a smaller battery of around 3,000- to 3,200mAh.
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Although price of the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be a determining factor in the sale of the device, the impressive components that can still stand their ground in 2017 would certainly ensure that the Note 7 would compete with Galaxy S8 and S8+.
[Update] It appears the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 might not be available in the U.S. or Europe owing to strict regulatory norms. Instead, the company might reintroduce the device in emerging markets in India, Vietnam, and Africa this June.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]