Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung is going to sell the refurbished version of its Galaxy Note 7 in South Korea, and that there will be upwards of 400,000 units available to those who want to pick one up. The report also indicated that there might be even more units available, and that the company may sell the "Galaxy Note 7 Fandom Edition" (what a seriously strange name) in other regions, too.
Well, except in the United States. It won't be sold in that particular market.
I've seen a lot of comments about the Galaxy Note 7 FE up to this point, and most of them are saying the same thing: Why? Even our own Alex Wagner, in his write-up of the news yesterday, said it was "kind of strange" to see Samsung launch a refurbished model of the Galaxy Note 7.
I have to admit that I'm of the same mind of those comments, too. I can understand that Samsung probably has a lot of Galaxy Note 7 units it wants to offload (400,000!), and it apparently sees a market for the resurrected Galaxy Note 7, but I just don't see a point. I've seen folks say that the Galaxy Note 7 is dead -- and it is. It exploded, on several different occasions, and even the replacement units of those defective phones burst into flames.
But more than that, I feel like Samsung should just put the Galaxy Note 7 in its rearview mirror and focus on what's next. The company has a hit on its hands with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ (they're awesome phones), and the company is apparently planning on launching a Galaxy Note 8 later this year. What is the point of spending any time relaunching a phone that has had such a terrible history?
Offering a Galaxy Note 7 as a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Note 8 might seem to make sense, especially if the Galaxy Note 8 is as expensive as some rumors have suggested, but I just can't help but think the Galaxy Note 7 name itself is just not something most people would want to get close to. I know I wouldn't. I really liked the Galaxy Note 7, but as soon as the first couple reports of the phone catching on fire surfaced, I took it back immediately -- and I definitely wouldn't bring a refurbished model into my house, or put it in my car.
But Samsung has different data. Either that or they're just so bullish on the device that they think slapping a "Fandom Edition" label onto it and changing some components under the hood can shine some light on the tarnished brand. Maybe it can. Maybe in South Korea there will be a ton of people lining up to pick up the handset.
For my money, though, I'd just rather wait until September (or whenever it is) and see what the Galaxy Note 8 has to offer. There's no denying that it will be a better phone than the Galaxy Note 7, even if it won't be cheap. But no one is expecting the Galaxy Note 8 to be cheap, anyway.
If you're in South Korea, do you plan on picking up the Galaxy Note 7 Fandom Edition if it launches in July? And if you're anywhere else, would you buy this phone if Samsung launched it in your neck-of-the-woods? Let me know!