Samsung has millions of recalled Note 7 smartphones sitting around gathering dust (and hopefully not exploding), and now the company says it may sell refurbished versions of the device (which, again, hopefully won’t explode), but that it won’t be selling these recycled products in the U.S.
In response to criticism that it might just dump these recalled phones somewhere without regard to wasted materials or the environment, Samsung has announced a set of “principles,” claiming that the Note 7 devices will be recycled and processed in an environmentally-friendly way.
So what does that mean, exactly? The company says it has established three ways in which it will make use of these expensive paperweights:
1. Note 7 components will be salvaged and reused;
2. Useful metals, like copper, nickel, gold, and silver, will be extracted;
3. Refurbished devices could be sold or provided as rentals, “dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers.”
But don’t expect to see cheap, refurbed Note 7s at Best Buy or Walmart anytime soon. A rep for Samsung tells Consumerist the repackaged phones will not be made available here.
“Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note7 devices for rent or sale in the U.S.,” the rep said.
That news was also confirmed by a spokesperson with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who said Samsung’s announcement did not pertain to the sale of recycled or refurbished Note 7 phones in the U.S.
While the company didn’t provide details on where the refurbished phones will be available, the rep did note that product details including the name, technical specification, and price range will be announced when the device is available.
As for the recycling of the Galaxy Note 7 phones, Samsung says that components such as semiconductors and camera modules will be detached by companies specializing in such services and used for test sample production purposes.
Any remaining components, such as precious metals, will be extracted by eco-friendly companies specializing in this processes.
In other Galaxy Note 7 news Monday, Mashable reports that the few holdouts who haven’t returned their phones to the company will no longer be able to use the devices.
Citing a report from Yonhap News Agency, Mashable notes that the 3% to 4% of Note 7 phones still in use worldwide will soon receive a software update that will finally “brick” the devices.
The soon-to-be pushed out update comes three months after Samsung worked with U.S. carriers to release an update that disabled the phones from charging or connecting to networks.