- Samsung will start selling the Galaxy Note FE ("Fan Edition") in South Korea for about 30% cheaper than the original Note 7 phones, according to CNN. The initial run, limited to South Korea, will include just 400,000 phones made from recycled or reused material and parts.
- After a worldwide recall of the phones, Samsung committed to recycling the devices in an environmentally-friendly way. The environmental advocacy group Greenpeace helped lead the charge in pushing Samsung to recycle, rather than just toss, the 4.3 million recalled Note 7 phones.
- "Samsung must communicate as soon as possible how the remaining phones will be recycled and what components will be reused, along with more detailed timelines on when it will implement all its promises," Jude Lee, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said in a statement.
As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous around the world, how the industry deals with old, failing electronic devices is only going to become more prominent an issue. Some agencies in the U.S. have already made residential e-waste collection a permanent part of their collection schedules, especially because if the waste is not handled properly, it can be hazardous for both human and environmental health.
The case of the "exploding" Galaxy Note 7 also highlights the "right to repair" movement, which could alleviate issues with battery replacement and other repair needs. It is argued that, if consumers are given the right to open up their electronics instead of depending on the manufacturer to do so, consumers would be more likely to fix devices instead of replacing them entirely.
The success or failure that Samsung experiences in South Korea could be indicative of how favorably consumers view buying new products made from refurbished materials as well — though the shortcomings of the Note 7 may be too big an obstacle to overcome. If consumers respond positively, other electronics manufacturers could take it as a cue to include more recycled e-waste materials in their future products.