One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Samsung took that old adage to heart.
Samsung plans to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 phones — which made headlines around the world for their battery explosion issues — under the moniker Galaxy Note FE, or “Fan Edition,” starting next month.
The Korean conglomerate had announced the refurbishment of its notorious phones in March.
“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,” said Samsung in a press release.
Samsung faced intense scrutiny and took a financial hit of more than $5 billion in 2016 thanks to the defective batteries in the then-latest model of its Galaxy smartphones. In September, Samsung suspended all sales and began recalling the phones worldwide the following month. Nearly 3 million Galaxy Note 7s were recalled.
The Galaxy Note FE will see a second life on store shelves starting July 7. The phones will have updated software as well as a lower-capacity battery compared to the original model, according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency.
It is unclear if Galaxy Note FE will see light in the United States, considering airports specifically banned the phone in flights for its battery and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a formal recall last year. News reports so far indicate the comeback will be limited to South Korea. The phones will be sold at 700,000 won, or around $616.
Consumer safety concerns aside, the refurbishing of Galaxy Note 7 is a good move for the environment. Greenpeace repeatedly called for Samsung to recycle or resell the defective phones, including crashing its press conference in New York City with rappelling protesters in February.
In response to the protests, Samsung told CNBC it “prioritized a safe and environmentally friendly process for disposing of devices.”
Photo: A visitor tries out a Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 7 smartphone at the company’s shop in Seoul in Seoul, South Korea, on Oct. 10, 2016. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)