As if Samsung hasn't had enough of a black eye over the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it's also been under pressure from environmental groups over its plans to simply dispose of the recalled smartphones. It appears that the Korean manufacturer bowed to pressure from groups such as Greenpeace, as it has detailed its plans for recycling the star-crossed device.
Whenever possible, Samsung plans to use the recalled Note 7 smartphones as refurbished or rental phones. These phones will be available in a limited number of markets, and several sites claim that the United States won't be one of them. Samsung will, of course, have to consult with regulatory authorities and local carriers to determine where they can release the refurbished devices. It's likely that the branding will change before the devices hit the market.
Note 7 smartphones that can't be refurbished will first be salvaged for parts. Samsung plans to use the harvested semiconductors and camera modules for producing test samples. After that, the company will extract metals like copper, nickel, gold, and silver by contracting the work out to companies with environmentally-friendly methods.
Environmental concerns likely aren't Samsung's only motivation for refurbishing the Note 7 devices. One would imagine the company is interested in recouping some of its losses, but environmental groups like Greenpeace are happily claiming victory over Samsung's decision. Its members and affiliates interrupted Samsung's presentation at this year's MWC, staged several protests around the world, and conducted a social media campaign, so it's possible those actions moved the company. Regardless, it remains to be seen how and if Samsung can convince regulators and consumers that its refurbished devices are safe enough to return to the market.