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Samsung to reportedly sell refurbished Galaxy Note7 with smaller, less explosive batteries

Given the fiasco of its fiery flagship, you might well have expected Samsung to want to draw a line under its Galaxy Note7, and focus on the next generation of its high-end handsets. But according to a report published by South Korean publication Hankyung, Samsung is actually preparing to refurbish the handsets and sell them on.

This is the second time that such rumors have popped up. According to the report, Samsung has opted for the refurb-and-resell approach in an effort to recoup some of the profits that it lost during the much-publicized global recall process. It's also said to be keen to minimize the potential environmental damage of dealing with millions of unsaleable devices, which will help it to avoid a hefty fine. Even so, selling refurbished units would indicate a change of approach, given that Samsung said in October that it would "safely dispose of" every Note7.

Last month, Samsung announced its findings from an intensive investigation into the issues that caused dozens of Note7 handsets to catch fire and explode, revealing - to the surprise of no-one - that the device's batteries were at fault. An independent probe by the South Korean government corroborated Samsung's assessment, and affirmed that aside from the battery issue, the design of the Galaxy Note7 was otherwise sound.

Samsung is said to have used around 200,000 Note7 handsets in its post-recall testing to determine the cause of those issues, but is said to have an estimated 2.5 million units available to refurbish. The company will reportedly complete refurbishment of those devices by May, and begin selling them again from June. However, there will be some important differences by the time they go on sale again.

The report claims that Samsung will reuse "core components", but that each handset will have a new case, and a smaller (and, one hopes, less explosive) battery. While the Galaxy Note7 originally shipped with a 3,500mAh battery, the refurbished models are expected to have battery capacity in the region of 3,000mAh to 3,200mAh.

Don't expect to see Samsung selling them again in Europe or North America though; the firm is believed to be limiting availability to emerging markets such as India and Vietnam, although it may also resell them in its home market of South Korea.

Samsung's mobile chief confirmed last month that a new Galaxy Note8 is on the way, promising that it will be "better, safer, and very innovative".

Source: Hankyung via ZDNet

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