Caught between a rock and a hard place even after doing the right thing back in October by “permanently” pulling the plug on the hazardous Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has just conceded to the demands of various environmental organizations while possibly infuriating smartphone enthusiasts.
It’s not going to be easy to make a good few million people understand they needed to hand over their precious new Android devices even as the vast majority appeared to function properly, only for them to now be “considered to be used as refurbished phones or rental phones where applicable.”
First things first though, what does that mean exactly? It’s still unclear, as markets and release dates haven’t been decided yet, with applicability “dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand.”
It just keeps getting more and more confusing, so let us make Samsung’s official statements a little simpler to follow. For starters, it seems the Galaxy Note 7 isn’t dead and buried after all. It may come back in some shape or form, if authorities and carriers will allow it, no doubt after very rigorous testing, and most likely, with a smaller, safer battery in tow. The question is who’s going to buy such a controversial refurb, and where?
Meanwhile, we can probably all agree reusing “salvageable components” like semiconductors and camera modules for “test sample production purposes” makes both business and environmental sense. Finally, it’s nice to hear Samsung plans to utilize “eco-friendly companies” specializing in extracting precious metals including copper, nickel, gold and silver for “left over component recycling.”
Still, the decision to repackage and resell even a small batch of Note 7s initially deemed dangerous will certainly stir another heated debate. Just what Samsung needed on the eve of the Galaxy S8’s launch.