[THE INVESTOR] Tech giant Samsung Electronics said on March 28 that it will sell refurbished versions of the Galaxy Note 7 and reuse the components.
“Samsung Electronics has established three principles to ensure that Galaxy Note 7 devices are recycled and processed in an environmentally friendly manner,” Samsung said in a statement.
“Applicability depends on the consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand,” the company noted.
The decision came amid mounting calls for the recycling of the device and the parts from environmental organizations at home and abroad, including Greenpeace International.
Samsung sold round 4.3 million Note 7 units worldwide since the release of the smartphone on Aug 19.
Even though Samsung did not unveil the markets and release schedule for the refurbished phones, some market watchers expected them to be sold in emerging markets, such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam, from the second quarter this year.
According to the firm’s recycling plans, the Note 7s will be used as either refurbished or rental phones in some global markets.
For those Note 7 units that are inapt for refurbishment, components installed in the phone, such as semiconductors and camera modules, will be detached for reuse while valuable metals, such as copper, nickel, gold and silver, will be extracted for recycling.
The tech giant initially planned to begin the refurbishment program after completing the first round of the recall program of Note 7 in September last year, but the plan was postponed as more fire and explosion cases took place, according to industry sources.
After months-long internal and external investigations, Samsung found Note 7’s flawed batteries, manufactured by battery makers Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Ltd., were the main cause of the phone’s fires and explosions.
The Korean office of Greenpeace, which conducted a campaign since last November calling for the recycling of the Note 7, hailed Samsung’s latest move.
“Greenpeace hopes Samsung will spearhead changes in the IT sector through the adoption of the recycling program for resources,” said Lee Hyun-sook, an activist of the environmental organization.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)