Samsung hasn't definitively stated whether it would sell any of the refurbished devices in the U.S., but said it would provide refurbished Note7s in some markets depending on consultations with regulators and wireless carriers. The company has already instituted an eight-point safety check for testing its batteries since the Note7 fiasco and has appointed a team of academic experts to research future battery technologies.
Jack Gold, an analyst at J.Gold Associates, said Samsung faces a "balancing act" with how to deal with the millions of recalled Note7s. On the one hand are environmental groups urging safe disposal and recycling; on the other are lawyers in the U.S. willing to file personal injury lawsuits on behalf of clients harmed by faulty products.
"Samsung is doing a good job of ... component recycling in many markets where the devices were banned, but also addressing the fact that there are many parts of the world where reconditioned phones are a part of the landscape," Gold said. "In some parts of the world, refurbished and used phones are a huge part of the marketplace."
"Samsung probably couldn't retrieve all of the Note7's anyway," Gold said. Samsung has said more than 96% of all the Note7 devices have been returned.
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