Samsung may take some ‘inspiration’ from Apple’s iPhone upgrade program. The company is reportedly planning to launch its own upgrade program in South Korea alongside the Galaxy S7, which is projected to arrive in March.
The upgrade program will apparently work much like Apple’s own program, which allows customers to pay for a smartphone over a two-year period and upgrade to the latest model every twelve months. Unlike normal carrier contracts, iPhones bought on Apple’s program come unlocked, and customers don’t have to pay early upgrade fees when a new model launches.
The Electronic Times report doesn’t say if all of Samsung’s smartphones will be available on the upgrade program, or if it will be limited to the top-tier models like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lineups. Assuming the program launches alongside the Galaxy S7, it would make sense for Samsung to include that line of devices first, but it could add more phones to the lineup as time goes on.
Apple also provides AppleCare+ with its upgrade program, which gives two years of hardware repairs for up to two incidents of accidental damage. The Reuters report does not mention if Samsung will provide a similar warranty with hardware repairs for smartphones sold through the rumored phone upgrade program. Samsung has not commented on the report, either.
Although South Korea will reportedly be the launch country for Samsung’s program, we wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually comes to the United States. After all, the Gear S2 and Samsung Pay both launched first in South Korea and came to the U.S. a few months later. Samsung seems to use South Korea as testing ground to see if a product is well received, before launching it in bigger markets like the U.S. and Europe.
We’ll keep you updated on the program as we learn more about it.