Samsung's plan to start selling a refurbished version of the ill-fated Note 7 smartphone is getting closer to completion, with the renamed 'Galaxy Note 7R' receiving approval from the Bluetooth SIG ahead of its expected rerelease in a limited number of markets, possibly within the next month.
The Note 7R was spotted passing through the Bluetooth SIG, a regulator enforcing Bluetooth compliance, by PhoneArena. According to the profile information for the smartphone, it was submitted on April 25, with the publication of the device's approval on May 12.
TechnoBuffalo notes the same device received approval from the Federal Communications Commission at the start of May, and was recently submitted to South Korea's NRRA (National Radio Research Agency). The NRRA is the last barrier before the device can go on sale in South Korea, with typical testing times of two to four weeks suggesting a launch in South Korea in early June.
So far, it has been confirmed the Note 7R will go on sale in China and South Korea, but other markets are unknown. There is a possibility for it to be marketed in emerging markets, including India and Vietnam, if sold at a reduced price.
Ultimately, the Note 7R is the same specification as the original Note 7, except for a name change and a smaller 3,200mAh battery.
Investigations into the Note 7 discovered that faults in production of the battery caused the fires, and not issues with software or other hardware used in the device. An initial design flaw that short circuited the battery was fixed after an initial recall, but a manufacturing fault during an ultrasonic welding process introduced a second fault with the replaced batteries.
Refurbishing the Note 7 may help Samsung in multiple ways, following the faulty battery fiasco surrounding the smartphone. The battery issues will cost the firm an estimated $5 billion, with reselling returned and fixed stock potentially aiding in reducing that figure downwards.
The South Korean environment ministry has previously suggested Samsung could face a fine for failing to "observe recycling obligations" for returned stock, giving it a second reason for salvaging the recalled devices.
In February, it was revealed 98 percent of the 3.16 million Note 7 devices sold had been recovered in the global recall, with approximately 200,000 units said to have been used in investigations into what caused the fires.