A widely circulated report from the Korean publication Hankyung claimed Monday that Samsung was planning to launch refurbished Galaxy Note 7 units later this year in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. Refuting the reports, a Samsung India spokesperson told media that the rumors about Samsung selling refurbished Note 7 units were “incorrect.”
Is refurbishing Galaxy Note 7 the right way to reduce damage?
The Hankyung report had claimed that Samsung was redesigning the Galaxy Note 7 to pack a smaller battery to overcome an issue that caused the phablet to explode. It added that Samsung would use a 3000mAh to 3200mAh battery in the refurbished Galaxy Note 7, compared to the original phone’s 3500mAh battery pack. The Korean electronics giant reportedly had 2.5 million Note 7 units available for refurbishment, and another 200,000 units for investigation and testing.
It’s not the first time reports of refurbished Galaxy Note 7 have surfaced online. Back in November, Korean publication The Investor reported that Samsung was planning to sell refurbished Note 7 units in markets like India and Vietnam. The move was said to be driven by Samsung’s attempt to reduce the financial damage and the cost of disposing of million of smartphones. The Note 7 fiasco is estimated to have cost the Korean company upward of $5 billion.
Galaxy Note 7 fiasco hits Samsung’s reputation hard
In January, Samsung concluded that the Galaxy Note 7 explosions were caused due to faulty batteries supplied by Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology. The Korean company had launched the device in August last year. But it was withdrawn from the market after complaints of the phones overheating and catching fire for no apparent reason. Samsung then introduced replacement Note 7s with supposedly safe batteries. But the company had to kill the phone after the safe Note 7 units were also found to be vulnerable to catching fire.
In its latest survey, Harris Poll found that the Galaxy Note 7 debacle has tarnished Samsung’s reputation in the United States. The Korean electronics behemoth was the 7th most visible brand in the US last year. But its ranking slipped to 49th place in the latest survey. The poorly-communicated Note 7 recall was a PR nightmare, which affected Samsung’s brand image around the world.
Will Galaxy S8 help it regain consumer confidence?
Samsung has since beefed up its safety and quality control procedures to prevent another Galaxy Note 7-like incident. It now has an eight-point battery check to ensure safety right from the component level to assembly and shipment. Samsung also has a new Battery Advisory Group including external advisers and experts to help it maintain a clear perspective on battery safety.
The Korean company hopes to regain consumer trust with its upcoming Galaxy S8 that is rumored to hit the store shelves on April 21st. The device would be officially unveiled at an Unpacked event in New York on March 29th.