It is safe to assume Samsung is sitting on a tall pile of Note 7 phones currently, which is an even bigger problem when you consider the task of recycling these phones. Don’t worry though, Samsung has a plan.
The company is going to bring the Note 7 back in the market, albeit limitedly. It hasn’t announced the market these phones will be released in, but confirms they will be sold as “refurbished phones or rental phones”, after consulting with local regulatory bodies and analyzing local demand.
The move is backed by the environmental organization Greenpeace, which lauded the decision since it has potentially averted an environmental calamity. Samsung’s handling of 4.3 million of Note 7s had been a point of contention since the announcement of discontinuation.
Samsung also plans to use the existing Note 7 phone’s parts on future phones, but that plan is yet to be detailed. Over the next few days, an OTA update will kill the ability of unrepaired phones to charge altogether.
That said, the Note 7 itself might find it difficult to break into major markets, after being banned from almost every network and service.
Samsung did ultimately manage to find the real cause that cost it $5.5 billion – two manufacturing problems in the battery – so it’s unlikely such a thing would happen again. The timing of this news couldn’t have been weirder for Samsung though, which is planning to launch the Galaxy S8 flagship this Wednesday.