Samsung to launch refurbished Note7 phones in South Korea from July 7

An employee cleans the corporate logo of South Korea's Samsung Electronics at its store in central Kiev
An employee cleans the corporate logo of South Korea's Samsung Electronics at its store in central KievPHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - Samsung said on Sunday (July 2) it will start selling a refurbished version of the recalled Galaxy Note7 smartphone in South Korea on July 7, using batteries different from those that caused some handsets to catch fire last year.

Samsung said in a statement it will offer 400,000 phones, dubbed the Galaxy Note7 Fan Edition, in its home country priced 699,600 won (S$841) - about 30 per cent lower than the Note7's original launch price.

The devices will be made from recalled, unsealed Note7 handsets and unused Note7 components.

Batteries for the refurbished devices will have a lower capacity than those of the original Note7s, but have passed new safety measures implemented following the recall, Samsung said.

The world's biggest smartphone maker by volume was forced to halt sales of the Note7 in October 2016, roughly 2 months after its launch, due to fire-prone batteries from two different suppliers.

The incident cost Samsung over US$5 billion in operating profit and damaged its reputation, though the firm has since recovered with the successful launch of the Galaxy S8.

The firm said earlier this year it planned to sell refurbished Note7s after investigations by Samsung and independent firms concluded the batteries were solely responsible for the fires.

Samsung also plans to hold a launch event for the Note8 in the second half of August, a source told Reuters in June.

The firm said it will decide whether to sell the refurbished Note7s in other markets at a later date. It has said it does not plan to offer the device in the United States or India.