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Will Samsung Note 7 be refurbished and sold in some regions?

The phones’ battery will be reduced from 3,500 mAh to a low of 3,000 mAh, claims a South Korean local media outlet, citing unnamed Samsung sources

NOTE 7. A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is held up as other Note 7 phones sit on a counter after they were returned to a Best Buy on September 15, 2016 in Orem, Utah. File photo by George Frey/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Nearly all of the 3 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones sold worldwide have been reacquired by the brand – the result of a global recall fueled by the phone’s faulty batteries back in September 2016.

That’s a total of 3 million phones that the South Korean tech giant could have profited from and used to further improve its standing in the tech world. Instead, the phones are depreciating in value by the minute.

If a report of Korean news site Korea Economic Daily were to be believed, that won’t be the case.

Citing unnamed Samsung sources, the site claimed that Samsung will be selling refurbished Note 7 units in June this year. The units will reportedly feature a smaller battery rated from 3,000 to 3,200 mAh compared to the original 3,500 mAh. The high energy density in the battery was cited as an aggravating factor in Samsung’s investigations.

Core components will be supposedly reused but will feature a new outer shell.

Distribution of the refurbished phones will be limited, mainly in emerging markets, specifically India and Vietnam, claimed the report. More than a way to recoup losses, the move is said to be a way for Samsung to please South Korea’s environment ministry. ZDNet mentions that the ministry had earlier warned Samsung of being fined if the phones are not properly disposed.

The report contradicts an earlier statement of one Samsung spokesperson, also unnamed, who told Vice that recalled phones will not be repaired, refurbished, or resold.

Nothing but a rumor?

There are logical reasons to believe that the rumor will remain a rumor. The Note 7 is just a toxic name for Samsung to continue attaching itself with; they’d be better off distancing themselves from it as far as they can.

Does Samsung, a company that reported healthy profits in the latest earnings report, really need the extra money it could earn from selling refurbished Note 7s at reduced prices? Is the extra cash worth it, considering the damage to reputation that might occur if the refurbished units experience another issue?

Samsung’s slide in the Harris Poll reputation rankings tells us that addressing brand perception is of more urgent importance than financial gains.

Most of all, is a refurbished Note 7 with a reduced battery capacity even a functional product? It was given a high-capacity battery because its high-spec features demanded it. With a lower capacity battery, just how appealing and useful would it still be? These thoughts should give anyone pause as to why the report could be nothing but a rumor.

Would you buy a cheap, refurbished Note 7? – Rappler.com