According to a Wall Street Journal report, Samsung plans to resurrect the failed Galaxy Note 7 as the Note 7 FE, or Fandom Edition. Samsung intends to use the same shells as the original Note 7, but many of the components – including the battery, most importantly – will be different.
The first batch of 400,000 “Fandom Edition” Samsung Galaxy Note 7 FE units are expected to be available in South Korean retail outlets on July 7, 2017. The price is being cut by $250 for a new retail price of about $616, or 700,000 South Korean won.
The report also says that these new smartphones will be available in “other countries”, although no further details were provided about which countries or when they would be available.
The Galaxy Note 7 FE is an attempt to salvage what the company can from the three million or so Galaxy Note 7 units that it was forced to recall from around the world. Interestingly, only 330 of the three million recalled devices were actually affected by the battery overheating problem, which is about 0.00011%.
That means Samsung has warehouse-loads of phones that work just fine. However, they’re changing some of the internals just to make doubly sure the fiasco is not repeated for a second time. It was already repeated once after the initial recall.
The United States is not likely to be a candidate for the new Galaxy Note 7 FE’s availability, since it offers an extremely high risk profile for Samsung at this point. China might be out as well.
Samsung officially announced losses of $5 billion from the Note 7 debacle, so they should hopefully make up some of that with sales of the new avatar of the Note 7. The first batch of 400k will net them about a quarter of a billion dollars, which is a drop in the ocean compared to $5 billion.
But, depending on the sales traction they get in their home country, they could increase production runs to match the loss in total. That would require about 8.3 million units of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 FE to be sold at the $600 price point – not impossible, but they’ll have to be very careful about the markets they launch this product in.
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