Ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch, the company has released a statement regarding its plans to recycle Note 7 devices. The process comes in three parts: save salvageable components such as camera modules and semiconductors, extract metal parts with the help from “eco-friendly” third-party companies, and sell refurbished devices “where applicable.”
The announcement appears to walk back on what Samsung initially pledged last fall, when it said it would dispose of the Note 7 and had no plans to repair or refurbish them. Instead, Samsung has confirmed it will work with local authorities and carriers to sell it as a refurbished device, rumored to come with a smaller battery to prevent it from overheating and catching fire. The company said available markets are to be determined as they work with local regulators to approve of the sale.
“The objective of introducing refurbished devices is solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact,” Samsung told The Verge in a statement. It also hinted that the phone may be renamed entirely when more details are unveiled. “The product details including the name, technical specification and price range will be announced when the device is available. Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices for rent or sale in the US.”
Samsung’s recycling plans come after Greenpeace protestors interrupted the company’s Mobile World Congress keynote last month, demanding to know what the company will do with the 4.3 million recalled devices. “Samsung’s announcement is the first step to show its effort to set a new path for recycling smartphones starting with Note 7s,” Greenpeace wrote in a blog post. “Greenpeace will make sure Samsung takes into account the voice of millions of our supporters and abides by its commitment.”
Update March 27th, 11:45AM ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Samsung about its refurbishing sales plans.