Samsung took a hit to both its reputation and its bottom line from the disastrous launch of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in 2016. After a massive recall and a large-scale investigation, Samsung is now pretty sure it knows why some phones seemed to spontaneously catch fire.
The good news is that means the company can hopefully prevent it from happening again in future phones.
It also means that Samsung may be able to retrofit some Note 7 devices that it recovered during the recall with new batteries and then put them out on the market again.
According to a report in the Korea Economic Daily, that’s exactly what Samsung plans to do.
The refurbished Note 7 phones are expected to have the same processor, camera, screen, and other features as the originals. But the case has reportedly been redesigned, and the refurbished models are expected to ship with 3,000 mAh or 3,200 mAh batteries rather than 3,500 mAh batteries.
The plan is to begin selling the refurbished phones starting in June. They’ll primarily be available in developing markets, where a reasonably priced phone with 2016 flagship-level specs might be more attractive to some customers than a full-priced 2017 flagship.
Of course, there’s always a chance things could go wrong with another rollout. The report that came out last month may be the result of the most comprehensive investigation into the exploding phones… but it’s not the first time Samsung assured the public that the problem had been resolved. There were actually two recalls in 2016, with Samsung first recalling some phones, shipping new models, and then announcing a second phase when some of those new models started exhibiting the same behavior.
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