Samsung Opens Door to Re-Selling Note 7s as Refurbished Phones

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Samsung Electronics Co. has detailed its plans for the millions of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones it pulled off shelves when some caught fire last year, including recycling materials and potentially letting customers use them as refurbished devices.

Samsung has collected 97 percent of its Note 7 smartphones and issued a software code that blocks any device in circulation from being recharged at all. In the Korean version of its statement, Samsung said refurbished phones can be sold while the English one said the devices will be “considered to be used as refurbished phones or rental phones where applicable.”

After conducting a recall that failed to fix the battery issue that caused some Note 7s to overheat and catch fire, Samsung pulled the product and offered customers refunds or a replacement phone. The incident was a public relations challenge for the Suwon-based company and is estimated to cost it more than $6 billion.

“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 Tuesday’s statement. “The markets and release dates will be determined accordingly.”

For Note 7 units destined for recycling, Samsung said it will remove components such as semiconductors and camera modules, and use them for testing of other products. Precious metals such as copper, nickel, gold and silver will be extracted from the phones in a environmentally responsible manner, the company said.

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