Samsung’sGalaxy Note 7 is the smartphone equivalent of a daytime soap opera character: just when you think it’s died dramatically in a fire and been stricken from the storyline, it pops up again.
The South Korean company announced its plans to sell the retooled phones in its native country and other international marketsback in March (as part of an environmental initiative to recycle the recalled devices), but there was no set date for the phone’s release.
Now, it appears Samsung is ready to bring the Note 7 back to its home country with a rumored July 7 launch date of a new version of the ill-fated flagship. The zombie release will be called the Galaxy Note 7 FE, for Fandom Edition, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The Note 7 FE will launch with a limited release of around 400,000 units and sell at an undetermined price lower than 700,000 South Korean won ($616), according to WSJ ‘s sources.
The refurbished Note 7s were originally rumored to drop at the end of June, so the early July release isn’t too far off what we already expected. The relaunched South Korean phones won’t be much different than when they were released originally, according to earlier reports, with a smaller 3,200mAh battery to patch the explosive issues caused by the original 3,500mAh version.
Samsung reps had no comment on the rumors of the release date, but have previously acknowledged the company’s plans to sell the refurbished phones in South Korea and select markets. The company is firmly against a U.S. re-release.
Still, the relaunch of the Note 7 FE is a puzzling move, even with the pressure from environmental groups. The highsales numbers of the Galaxy S8 has proved that consumers have put the Note 7 debacleout of their minds, and anticipation for the true successor in the product line, theNote 8, is just starting to reach a fever pitch with an increasingly busy rumor mill ofspec leaks and slick product renders . Samsung is even rumored to undercut the expected launch of the iPhone 8 by dropping the next-gen Notein August, which would give the Note 7 FE just a month on the market.
By rereleasing the Note 7, the company would just remind everyone of the device’s fiery first act — and if anything goes wrong, the goodwill won by the S8 could be all for naught. Repurposing a bunch of old, recalled phones and selling them on the cheap just doesn’t sound like it’s worth the risk .