By now, you’ve all heard about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall – due to some as-yet-undetermined battery manufacturing problems, a few Note 7’s have been spontaneously combusting. Samsung has issued a global recall amidst complaints about their handling of the issue from Consumer Reports. But there’s an interesting side point to note here, one that means you also shouldn’t buy a Galaxy S7 Edge right now. Let me explain.
Personally, I think Samsung’s response has been great: rather than risk any more injury or property damage, the company is recalling over two million devices globally to protect consumers (as well as themselves). This is going to cost a vast amount of money – an amount that some are claiming will be in excess of a billion dollars.
Ironically, it’s actually Samsung’s laudable response that is behind my reasoning as to why you shouldn’t invest in an S7 Edge right now either. Why? Because, depending on where you picked up your Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is offering a replacement Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge in the meantime, until a “safe” Galaxy Note 7 can be sent out to you. This is where the silver lining lies.
Once Samsung’s Note 7 testing is complete, they are going to have two million barely-used Galaxy Note 7’s. It’s pretty safe to say that these will have the batteries removed and replaced, and then be resold as “manufacturer refurbished by Samsung” devices.
But all those temporary substitute Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s are also going to end up going back to Samsung, barely used, and receive the same treatment. I’m assuming the vast majority of folks will opt for the larger, curvier, more Note 7-like S7 Edge.
This means that in the coming weeks and months, there are going to be a LOT of refurbished Galaxy Note 7’s and Galaxy S7 Edge’s hitting the market. If you’re not one of the affected Note 7 owners with a replacement on the way and are (still) interested in picking up a Note 7 or S7 Edge in the near future, you just need to be patient. Let the investigation and refurb process happen, and then take advantage of the big discounts.
If you’re ever going to buy a refurbed phone, this is the time you want to do it. The devices are practically brand new and will be refurbed by Samsung itself. The chances of there being a new problem introduced is very slim considering the amount of bad press this situation has already caused for Samsung – one can only imagine the degree of scrutiny that will go into quality control on the refurbs.
Fortunately for all of us, the vast sums of money required to minimize the bad PR and address this problem properly is going to cost Samsung big. That is why I think the company has to refurb and resell the affected devices (and those sent out to temporarily replace them). That has to mean selling a “tainted” phone at a solid discount. And then selling its temporary replacement at a discount too. Bad news for Samsung, great news for bargain hunters.
Will you be picking up a Note 7 or S7 on the refurb tip?