The disastrous launch of Samsung's Galaxy Note7 last year has been well documented. Following two global recalls of its fiery flagship, the company ended production of the device and promised to "safely dispose of" every model sold. The whole saga was hugely embarrassing for Samsung, particularly as announcements on buses, trains, planes, and elsewhere, regularly reminded consumers of the problems affecting the high-end handset.
Samsung vowed to regain the trust of its customers, and even published full-page ads in major newspapers apologizing to them for having 'fallen short' in safety and quality. So it certainly raised a few eyebrows when, in March, the company confirmed that it intended to refurbish the recalled handsets, and resell them.
In May, a rumor claimed that Samsung was planning to offer the refurbished devices with the 'Galaxy Note FE' name. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that the manufacturer will launch - or re-launch - the device with the full name 'Galaxy Note7 Fandom Edition'.
The refurbished devices will supposedly feature different components than the original Note7, and are expected to also include a smaller battery than the earlier model. Battery issues were the root cause of the dozens of incidents in which the handsets caught fire, and even exploded, before Samsung issued its second recall of the Galaxy Note7.
Given how hard Samsung has worked to put the Note7 fiasco behind it, it's puzzling to see the company dredge it all up again by attempting to resell the device. With its new Galaxy S8 and S8+ now on sale, and the next-gen Galaxy Note8 due in September, it's not at all clear what benefits Samsung anticipates from resurrecting a device that caused so many problems for its brand, and which cost the company billions of dollars.
The Galaxy Note7 Fandom Edition will reportedly go on sale on July 7 in Samsung's home market of South Korea, but it remains to be seen if it will be offered in any other countries. Samsung India was quick to rule out any plans to sell the refurbished device there, and it won't be sold in the United States either.
For those recalled handsets which aren't deemed suitable for sale as refurbished units or 'rental devices', Samsung said that "salvageable components will be detached for reuse". It explained that "components such as semiconductors and camera modules shall be detached by companies specializing in such services and used for test sample production purposes."
Source: The Wall Street Journal