Sheldon PintoMar 28, 2017 11:31:42 IST
When Samsung announced its Galaxy Note 7, I was sold on the idea. It was the first Note smartphone that was actually attractive to look at and going by my colleague's first impressions, was a powerhouse as well. I was to review the smartphone, but it never arrived as issues related to the smartphone's battery began to surface after which Samsung halted sales and production.
It has been a good six months and Samsung Electronics has now made an announcement that it does plan to sell refurbished units of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in select markets.
These are the same units that were either sent back or were about to be shipped to owners when news about its fire-prone batteries, made headlines in what turned out to one of the biggest consumer technology recalls of our time.
Why? What? Where?
The move indeed comes after plenty of thinking considering that Samsung has spent plenty of time figuring out why its flagship smartphone's batteries exploded. After Samsung confirmed that it was the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 handset that was the problem, another headache quickly took its place. What should be done of these millions of Note 7 handsets?
Today, came the first answer to that very question. Samsung has made up its mind and will soon put up its much-loved Galaxy Note series smartphone on sale in select markets. Where and in which markets? Remains the second question to which the answers remain pending. Samsung India however, did confirm to us that refurbished units of its Galaxy Note 7 would not arrive in the country.
The reason for its first answer is simple. Samsung literally had millions of smartphones lying around and discarding them was not the answer as the company would face heavy penalties from the Korean government itself on environmental grounds. Refurbishing them would be a much better idea, and it is the one Samsung has gone in for now. A source familiar with the matter also told Reuters that Samsung would be reusing some of its parts and that it would also extract rare metals from the devices that it cannot sell.
Bad Timing or a Bold Move
With the launch of the Galaxy S8 in a day's time, on 29 March, many may believe that it is a bad move. But Samsung indeed seems to be making a cleaner and more transparent image of itself that may even boost its sales.
Indeed, this is a new Samsung, one that's gone through a rough patch and is now looking to do more transparent business with consumers. Samsung's move to sell its Note 7 to customers for the third time will be a gutsy one, but it also showcases that Korean giant has done its homework and is now confident about its products.
While Note 5 users may jump to the opportunity to obtain one, Samsung's confidence in announcing the re-launch of a failed product a day before the launch of its new flagship, adds nothing but more confidence for its buyers. Samsung showcasing its homework looks more appealing to a brand conscious buyer and deepens consumer trust that should lead to strong sales of its new Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships.
While Samsung literally missed out two quarters of sales thanks to the Note 7, it could get something back by adding a third product at its upcoming launch. This is because the Note 7 still is a rare product even today thanks to its stylus. The Galaxy Note series still caters to a different customer, one who will not be interested in the Galaxy S8.
But then comes the price. As with any refurbished smartphone, down goes the price. And those looking to buy a Note 7 could be in for a sweeter deal than the Galaxy S8.
Indeed the Galaxy S8 will offer a lot more with Samsung's Bixby built right in, add to this a new processor and an almost bezel-less display. But for those who love their stylus, its either a six month wait till the next Note device, or a simple switch to a refurbished Note 7.
Come to think of it, I took a domestic flight recently and there are still announcements regarding the ban of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in place. May be, Samsung should approach the authorities first.
Would you buy a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Sound off in the comments below.