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Samsung denies plans to sell Galaxy Note 7 with refurbished batteries in India

Galaxy Note 7 unpacked
The Galaxy Note 7 doesn’t have the best reputation — maybe because of all those pesky fires and explosions — yet Samsung is reportedly considering a new lease of life on the device with refurbished models, presumably at a lower price.

Rumors about the move have spread for a while, and reports consistently repeat much of the same information. A Samsung spokesperson told Digital Trends the company does not comment on rumors and speculation, but another spokesperson from Samsung India told Gadgets 360 that the latest report is incorrect.

“The report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect,” the spokesperson told Gadgets 360.

The report, which came from a South Korean source, claimed that Samsung is looking into swapping out existing Note 7 devices with a slightly smaller battery. This would reduce the space taken up by the battery inside the Note 7, one of the contributing factors in the phone’s problems.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard this. At the end of 2016, another report from South Korean outlet The Investor, said Samsung might be considering selling refurbished Note 7 smartphones beginning in 2017. The information came from an anonymous industry source, who said, “Samsung has not made a final decision yet, but it will likely sell the refurbished Note 7 units next year.”

Both reports say Samsung will sell its old Galaxy Note 7 handsets in emerging markets, namely India and Vietnam. It may have difficulty reintroducing the phone into markets where the phone was heavily recalled, and carriers may be wary about taking on a refurbished device with such a strong stigma attached to it. However, if the price is right, we have a feeling many will be prepared to ignore that.

The spokesperson from Samsung India said the company is not selling the refurbished device in India, but no other country was mentioned. It’s possible Samsung could bring it to other countries, though we cannot verify these reports.

Samsung may be driven to re-release a fixed up Note 7 for several reasons. The massive cost involved in developing, building, releasing, and then recalling the phone is enormous, and it’s mentioned the company may still have 2.5 million Note 7 phones hanging around its warehouses. Clawing back some revenue would ease the financial pain. Additionally, Samsung has environmental targets to meet, and those don’t involve throwing out millions of smartphones. Rebuilding a safe Note 7 to sell on the remaining inventory would avoid this problem.

If you’re given the chance, would you buy one?

Article originally published 11-15-2016. Updated on 02-22-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in an official statement from Samsung, and Samsung India regarding a refurbished Galaxy Note 7.

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