SEOUL (Reuters) – Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Tuesday it plans to recover 157 tonnes’ worth of rare metals from recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in a bid to minimize the environmental impact of the fire-prone devices.
Samsung said in a statement it planned to reuse components such as camera modules, chips and displays as replacement parts on devices sent in for repairs or sell them. It would also recover metals such as cobalt, copper, gold and silver from components that would not be reused.
The world’s top smartphone maker is trying to move on from the withdrawal of the Note 7 premium devices last year due to safety concerns, a failure which cost the firm $5.4 billion in operating profit.
Sales of the flagship Galaxy S8 launched in April have been healthy, analysts say, suggesting a recovery is underway. The firm had sold 3.06 million Note 7s to consumers before its second and final recall in October, roughly 2 months after launch.
Environmental activists such as Greenpeace have called on Samsung to recycle or recover the rare materials contained in the devices.
The South Korean firm launched a modified version of the Note 7 in its domestic market earlier this month as part of the recycling effort.
Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates