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18 July 2017

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7s will be scrapped for parts and rare metals

The Galaxy Note 7 will die to give other phones life.
The Galaxy Note 7 will die to give other phones life.

Image: Brittany herbert/mashable

It’s the circle of life. 

Some 400,000 of Samsung’s recalled Galaxy Note 7 phones will have been reincarnated as refurbished smartphones in South Korea, while others will be consigned to the scrap heap. But don’t shed too many tears for the wasted parts just yet — many of the Note 7s will “die” so that new devices can be made from their parts. 

Samsung will begin a Galaxy Note 7 recycling project this month, Reuters reports, citing a statement released in Korean. The company says it will look to repurpose the most valuable parts like OLED displays, camera modules, and chips for replacements and repairs. In total, Samsung says it will recover 157 tons of the valuable precious metals found in other unsalvageable parts like gold, cobalt, silver, and copper.     

Samsung’s estimated 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7 devices have sat in limbo since their explosive fall from grace and global recall last year, but the company has been determined to find some use for the phones.

 The recycling project was first announced back in March, when Samsung unveiled its three-pronged sustainability campaign in the wake of the Note 7’s failure and pressure from environmental groups like Greenpeace to do something about the electronic waste it created. The first step in this process led to the release of the Galaxy Note FE earlier this month, while the parts recovery and rare metal extraction are the final two steps. 

Samsung’s statement, which we’ve roughly translated, says the company will “cooperate with domestic and foreign companies to extract and recycle electronic parts,” and has “specific plans for eco-friendly treatment” of the devices, which is consistent with the project’s originally stated goals. There are no other details about the process available, however, so we’re not exactly sure who Samsung’s partners are in its mission to keep its environmental footprint down while disposing of its biggest failure.  

We’ve reached out to Samsung for any additional information about the recycling project and will update as soon as we hear back.. 

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