SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Samsung Electronics said Sunday its recalled Galaxy Note 7 phones will be recycled and sold starting this week in South Korea.
The Galaxy Note FE phone, using unused parts in the recalled Note 7 smartphones, will go on sale in South Korea Friday at 700,000 won ($611), about three quarters of its original price.
The company said the supply will be limited to 400,000 units. Overseas sales plans will be determined later, it said in a statement.
Samsung said the Note FE has “perfect safety.”
Black eye for Samsung
The original Note 7 was one of the biggest black eyes in Samsung’s history. When it was launched in August 2016, the Note 7 was Samsung’s answer to Apple’s upcoming iPhone. It was also one of the most expensive Samsung phones with the price starting at $850.
But after reports emerged that its batteries were prone to overheat and catch fire, Samsung recalled the phone in less than a month of its launch and released another one with replaced batteries. But the second batch also tended to overheat, prompting Samsung to discontinue the Note 7.
The debacle dealt a blow to Samsung’s corporate image. Aviation authorities around the world banned the pricy phone on flights and photos of scorched Note 7s circulated on social media. Samsung spent billions of dollars to recall the Note 7 and fix its damaged brand.
Earlier this year, the company released the investigation results and blamed flaws in design and production of batteries supplied by two battery makers.
Environmentalists urged reuse of parts
After Samsung recalled millions of Note 7 phones, environmental activists have pressured the South Korean tech giant to reuse the electronics parts to reduce waste. Samsung said the Note FE is part of its efforts to minimize waste.
The Note FE, short for “Fan Edition,” features the screen measuring 5.7 inches (14.48 centimeters) diagonally and the stylus pen.