The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco is estimated to cost Samsung a gargantuan $5 billion. The Korean electronics company is far from done with the Note 7. Sitting on a pile of 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 units, Samsung seems to be looking for ways to recover at least some of the losses. According to a report from The Investor, the company is planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 units in emerging markets from next year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Image source: Samsung.com (Screenshot)

Samsung still doesn’t know what caused Galaxy Note 7 explosions

Samsung was forced to discontinue production and sales of the fire-prone Note 7 after recalling the device twice. Citing industry sources, The Investor claims that Samsung will mainly target emerging markets like Vietnam and India with its refurbished Galaxy Note 7. The company was yet to reach a final decision. Even if Samsung goes ahead with the plan, the refurbished phones are unlikely to hit the US shores.

In a full-page ad earlier this month, Samsung apologized to the Note 7 owners, and assured them that its engineers were working to figure out the cause of the explosions. It has been more than two months since first reports of the Note 7 catching fire surfaced. But Samsung is yet to conclusively identify the cause of the problem. The company cannot afford to sell refurbished Note 7s without identifying and fixing the issue.

Not all Note 7 units were faulty

There have been more than a hundred incidents of Note 7 overheating and catching fire. But not all the units showed the problematic symptoms. Samsung went ahead and killed the device, defective or not. Samsung’s plan to sell refurbished Note 7 units could draw criticism. The company had once said that its phones were exploding due to faulty batteries. But it was left red-faced when supposedly safe replacement units also began exploding.

According to reports, the Korean electronics giant chose to test the Galaxy Note 7 in-house before launching it. Most smartphone vendors get their handsets tested by third-party firms that specialize in safety diagnostics. The US Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) believes that the smartphone’s battery was too big for its size.

Samsung has a “process in place’ to deal with recalled Galaxy Note 7

Samsung has recalled about 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 units worldwide. Environmental protection groups have urged the company to dispose of the devices responsibly without harming the environment. Greenpeace said in a statement that dumping such a huge number of smartphones could be “an environmental disaster.” The company has to rethink how it designs and makes its products.

Samsung told Motherboard that it had a “process in place” to dispose of the recalled devices. The Korean company has not confirmed anything about selling refurbished Note 7 units. So, the report should be taken with a grain of salt. According to data from research firm IDC, more than half of Note 7 owners were switching to the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.