Samsung has confirmed that its doomed Galaxy Note 7 is making a comeback.
The South Korean company ceased production five months ago after a battery fault caused some handsets to overheat and explode. Now it has begun refurbishing some of the units that were returned with plans to sell them later.
When it launched last August, the Note 7 quickly became a major rival to the iPhone 6s Plus. It was greeted by rave reviews from fans and critics, who praised its gorgeous design and impressive features. But the hype didn’t last long.
Just weeks after the launch, early Note 7 adopters found that the device had a tendency to explode. Samsung recalled every unit sold and began shipping out new models with different batteries, but then those began catching fire, too.
With the complaints rolling in and consumer trust diminishing, Samsung eventually decided enough was enough. It recalled all units for a second time and ceased production of the Note 7 just two months after it launched.
It was suggested that Samsung would kill the Galaxy Note lineup altogether after its name was tarnished, but the company still has plans to launch a Note 8 later this year. But before it does that, it will bring back the Note 7 again for another run.
In a press release issued today, Samsung outlines its “three principles” for recycling returned Note 7 handsets. One of its plans is to salvage and reuse certain components; another is to extract metals and other valuable materials for other uses.
Perhaps its most exciting plan (for Galaxy fans, at least) is to refurbish some units and sell them again. It’s not yet clear when or where they will be available, or how much they will cost.
“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 explains.
“The markets and release dates will be determined accordingly.”
Samsung will surely be keen to make refurbished devices available before the Note 8 lands this fall, so we expect the company to confirm its plans soon. In the meantime, you might want to start saving your pocket money.
The Note 7 was by far the best smartphone of 2016 when it made its debut (before it started exploding). It combined incredible design with a stunning display, one of the best cameras we’ve ever seen on a phone, and features like iris scanning.
There’s no doubt it would have been one of the year’s best-selling devices had it not failed; 2.5 million units were sold in just a few weeks following its debut. If refurbished units go on sale where you live, then, don’t be put off by the bad press.