Note 7 Handsets Return From The Dead

By elisfkc from Orlando, FL, United States – Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Bulletin, CC BY-SA 2.0, 7

Samsung is to re-use parts of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 for a new handset in what it’s billing as an environmental move. As you’d hope, those parts won’t include the battery.

The ‘new’ model, known as the Note Fan Edition, will only be sold in South Korea at first. Given the handset’s popularity – to the point of some people going to great lengths to continue using it despite the safety concerns – it wouldn’t be surprising to see some attempts at unauthorized exports, though compatibility with cellphone networks could be an issue.

Samsung says it will decide if and when to sell the new model overseas later on. Given it sold around four million of the original Note 7, there could be scope for a bigger manufacturing run if the demand is there. On the other hand, Samsung might decide to put all most its efforts into promoting the Note 8, expected in the fall.

The Note Fan Edition will cost the equivalent of just over US$600, about two-thirds of the original (unsubsidized) price. Earlier speculation had tagged the cost as being close to half of the original. Samsung plans to make 400,000 units.

The new handset will be made up of a combination of parts from the returned Note 7s and parts Samsung already held in stock. The batteries will be 3,200 mAh models rather than the higher-capacity 3,500 mAh models that caused so many problems with the original. Other than that both the hardware and software will be largely identical, though Samsung has used the term “S Pen Plus”, suggesting a possible upgrade to the phone’s stylus. It’s possible it’s a new stylus that’s in development for the Note 8 and Samsung is using this opportunity for some large scale real-world testing.

Environmental groups had urged Samsung to act responsibly by recycling as much of each returned handset as possible, so it looks like the company has found a way to keep them happy while boosting its bottom line.