Samsung is bringing Galaxy Note 7 smartphones back.
The company said Monday that it will sell refurbished models as part of its plan to recycle the smartphones — which it recalled and stopped manufacturing last year because of battery issues that caused fires and explosions.
But the phones’ comeback will depend on “consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand,” the electronics giant said in a press release. So it may not come back everywhere.
Samsung, which in January officially blamed the Galaxy Note 7’s problems on two different battery issues, said it will also detach salvageable components to be reused, and that “processes such as metals extraction shall be performed using environmentally friendly methods.”
After billions of dollars in losses and a massive image hit, why bring the phones back at all?
Samsung has been under pressure to figure out a way to recycle the millions of Galaxy Note 7s it made, especially from environmental groups, who are celebrating the announcement.
“After five months of people powered actions around the world, Samsung pulled its head out of the sand and committed to recycling the millions of Galaxy Note 7 phones it recalled,” Greenpeace said in a blog post Monday. “This is a huge win for the hundreds of thousands of people who took action.”
Samsung also said it would join a European Union effort to “develop new eco-friendly processing methods.”
The company’s decision to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7s contradicts what it said last year — that it wouldn’t repair, refurbish or resell the phones.
Samsung is scheduled to launch its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S8, on Wednesday.
Photo: Signboards of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are displayed at an entrance of a Samsung showroom in Seoul on Sept. 2, 2016. Samsung is recalling the phones after reports of exploding batteries. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)