Samsung caught a whole mess of bad press last year after numerous reports of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploding. The company, however, apparently believes there's still a rabid fanbase demanding a defused version of its mobile time bomb. So a refurbished version of the phone is going back on shelves next month — bearing what might be the most delusional name possible.
On July 7th, Samsung will release the Galaxy Note 7 FE, which, improbably enough, stands for "Fandom Edition," unnamed sources tell The Wall Street Journal. Rumours that Samsung was considering selling refurbished Note 7 devices broke back in March. The company later confirmed its plans to deal with the returned devices in "an environmentally friendly way," which included selling refurbished devices as a possibility. A Samsung spokesperson told Gizmodo at the time that the device would not be coming to the United States. According to the WSJ, the Note 7 FE will have new components which presumably won't cause it to overheat and spontaneously combust.
Samsung first recalled the Note 7 in September of last year following hundreds of reports of explosions, and ultimately pulled some 3 million units. About 93 per cent of US Note 7 handsets were recovered. As for the other 7 per cent, the company has tried to get the devices out of users' hands by pushing out updates that cause the phone to stop charging. All told, the debacle has cost Samsung billions.
According to the WSJ, the Note 7 FE is only scheduled for release in South Korea so far, but it seems other countries might be getting a release as well. Samsung has yet to publicly confirm these plans.
Even if Samsung has managed to make the Note 7 safe, it seems impossibly silly for the company to keep dredging up the ghost of last year's spectacular failure. Rumour has it that the follow up device — the Note 8? — is on the way sometime soon. In the meantime, Samsung should ride the coat tails of its very successful (and so far not-explodey) Galaxy S8.