The Note FE is reportedly flying off the shelves in South Korea.
Roughly 400,000 Galaxy Note FE units were made available in South Korea, and, according to local retailers, customers flocked to buy the refurbished device. The Note FE is believed to have increased daily device activations by 60 percent since it launched last week.
The Black Onyx and Blue Coral versions of the refurbished Note 7 are particularly popular, having sold out in some stores. At ~$610, the phone is roughly 20 percent cheaper than the Note 7’s launch price. That said, it’s definitely more expensive than other year-old phones, as my colleague Rob pointed out here.
Samsung is marketing the FE as a “limited edition,” a chance for Note fans to own a piece of mobile industry history. A company official told The Investor that the current stock will not be renewed once it sells out in South Korea. The fact that Samsung is creating artificial scarcity for a phone that caused it so many problems is deeply ironic, if not inexcusable.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note FE could launch globally by the end of this month, according to an “insider” interviewed by The Investor. Samsung did not specify which countries will be getting the FE, but it’s likely that the international release will be limited to a smaller number of markets.
Analysts estimated that Samsung manufactured around 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units before a string of highly-publicized incidents forced it to recall the device. Not all Note 7’s will be refurbished. Some will be torn down to pieces and recycled or used for testing purposes. The decision to launch the Note FE earned Samsung the praise of Greenpeace and other environmentalist groups, though the company was probably more interested in recouping a part of the billions in losses it suffered due to the recall.
Will you buy a Note FE if it launches in your country?