Samsung to reportedly launch phone upgrade program alongside Galaxy S7

According to a new report, Samsung may be planning to launch a phone upgrade program starting with the launch of the upcoming Galaxy S7 flagship. Though details are light, the report from South Korea's Electronic Times, says that the program would be similar to the iPhone upgrade program launched by Apple in 2015 with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Samsung is said to be considering a March launch for the program in South Korea, coinciding with the launch of the Galaxy S7. If it indeed works like Apple's program, buyers would be able to finance their purchase through Samsung with monthly installment payments. Customers would then be allowed to upgrade their handset once per year, keeping them in rhythm with yearly flagship launches.

Of course, as with all reports of this nature, it's best to take this with the requisite grain of salt. Nothing is official until Samsung says so.

Source: ETNews (Korean); Via: Reuters

82 Comments
  • I'm not familiar with the Apple program. Are the installments interest free? And is it just an annual trade in with the same monthly payment, or is there a premium?
  • There's no interest, and it's a 24 month lease that allows you to upgrade after 12 months (with trade-in). The monthly payments are higher than normal, however, because it includes Apple Care.
  • I believe they are interest free. It is just to keep you on the contract hook for years to come and locked into the ecosystem. If they offer fi, I would consider it. You basically get a new phone every year at a decent price. If you shatter it your screwed though without insurance backing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Cant you just use Squaretrade if something like that happens? That way, if you do break your phone or it gets stolen, Squaretrade insurance will get you a new phone and then at the end of your original 12 months, turn it in to get the new model?
  • Sure you can go that route no problem as long as they do not care if the returned phone is not the same as the given phone (IMEI number will be different)
  • This is never a good deal for the consumer unless convenience is the object.
  • Why? No different than leasing a car Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly, you proved my point.
  • I agree I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup
  • there's nothing wrong with leasing as long as you accept it as a service not unlike what most of us pay for from our cellular providers.
    always having the latest phone on day one for zero down is really not a bad way to spend thirty bucks a month if you know for a fact that you're going to upgrade year after year.
  • You proved my point, too
  • 30 x 12 solve the problem and google retail pricing for a Galaxy S6 or an iPhone 6S. maybe my math is wrong because i'm not seeing where anyone that always wants the latest and greatest like 99% of people want is getting a bad deal here whether convenience is a factor or not...
    it's also leasing to own with zero interest. want to own the phone? just divide the retail price of what you'd be paying anyway into 24 equal payments. nbd.
  • not sure I get your point. some people prefer getting a new car every 2 years, and are happy to pay the premium for the product. personally I buy cars that are 2-3 years old, and keep em for 5 years. that doesn't make me right or wrong, it's just my preference as I don't mind driving the same car that long. I'm the same with phones, don't mind using the same one for 2-3 years, but I'd never look down on someone that enjoys getting a new iPhone every year, and paying the price for that luxury.
  • If you think leasing is inherently bad then you are uninformed. The perks of leasing: much cheaper monthly payments, guaranteed maintenance services, guaranteed warranty, newest cars with no wear and tear, the ability to get a new car every few years with no strings attached. Posted from my Nexus 6.
  • Leasing is by far the worst and most expensive way to pay for a car just as it is for a phone. The cost per month for a car is never the teaser price. One usually has to put down an amount relative to the cars value. A 199 lease for 36 months on say a Nissan Rogue requires 3400 down. When you amortize total costs it's @ 10,000 for 3 years and you best hope there is not a scratch on it, over mileage or undue wear and tear as your on the hook. In addition if you own a business, which I do, any accountant worth their expense will likely advise buying an affordable car and writing off the business mileage. This whole "leasing" a phone nonsense is baffling and costing consumers a fortune in unnecessary expense. Most '13 phones can do anything '15 can albeit a tad slower. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Doesn't matter, these things go to near zero value as soon as the next one comes out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Leasing is bad if you ever want to own that car. Posted via the S6 Active
  • But if you never want to, it is not bad and some can be used to write off on taxes. And no maintenance. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree, it doesn't make sense to want to own something that will be a tech dinosaur within 18 months if not less. Posted via the Android Central App
  • why would you want to own it if you know you're going to sell it and get next year's model?
  • We are on the downside of that though. My note 4 runs as well as this year's model, it is coming down to software and not hardware Posted via the Android Central App
  • you get gains from Software upgrading year after year as well. especially from Samsung who in recent years has finally started to realize that their UX needs to be toned down and ironed out for a more consistent experience and has been improving on year after year and then support for that Software also comes into play even when comparing a current phone to one from a year ago.
  • I'm done with yearly and bi-yearly upgrades as a whole. Don't get me wrong. Every new phone makes me as excited as a kid in a candy store. It's just that my G4 is already doing what I want it to do really well. It's not like the new phones do what the G4 could do in an infinitely better way. Yeah, it'll do so in a quicker and overall better fashion, but to me, probably not in a fashion that warrants a yearly upgrade. I drool over benchmarks and hardware specs, but really, they don't make my current phone a tortoise by comparison in the real world. I'm not saying that I don't like the new phones. I'm just saying that my current phone is just so good to me, I don't really feel like upgrading so often. The only reason I would upgrade is if my phone is seriously broken to the point of being nearly unusable or totally so.
  • That's how I finally feel about...wait for it...my m8, a nearly two year old device.
  • That's fine. The One M8 is a pretty darn good phone, with only the camera being its main significant weak point. Like I plan to keep my G4 for 3 years minimum.
  • True, but the UX is too good. I regret bashing the dammed thing back in the day. It's a solid performer.
  • How could you bash sense? They have been the best since the thunderbolt Posted via the Android Central App
  • I bashed the hardware, mostly. In all honesty, when I first used the m8, 4 months after release, I thought the software was weak and needed a face lift. Now I find it extremely functional and exactly sophisticated enough with exactly enough features, if I am making any sense...pun intended.
  • I have a soft spot for HTC Sense. Even after using stock Android for a long time and LG UX for a while (it's ugly, though), I always feel like going back to Sense. Because I feel that it is one of those skins that has its own visual style and adds meaningful features that enhances the Android experience rather than detracting from it.
  • OK I dislike a lot of the hardware that goes into the M series, including the design, but always loved sense
  • Metal isn't exactly the best material because it does scratch and dent pretty easily. Like my M7 has scratches all over the speaker grilles. The back is pristine, but only because I put a carbon-fiber skin at the back.
  • Glass either. Soft touch rubber like the rezound is my ideal Posted via the Android Central App
  • I want that too. I admit, I do like a metal frame, but a soft-touch back would be great, since it doesn't feel cheap and also gives plenty of grip. Who said soft-touch plastic is cheap? Even car reviewers call them "premium".
  • My biggest issue is the software support. According to the HTC website I'm from, they will only guarantee support for two years.
  • That's pretty standard for most Android devices. They usually get updates for 2 years, and then they are dropped. The Nexus line gets 3 years of updates, though. Mmmmm, Android Smores....
  • As much as I really like my phone, I think I will upgrade this year for something a little less unwieldy... and with a better camera; I have zero complaints with everything else. I'm under no contract anyway so I'm just waiting for the right device for me. Nexus 6
  • I'm hoping the same. I want to keep this phone at least until 2017. I would have been happy keeping my last phone for 3 years if I hadn't somehow broken it a few months from retirement. I am taking more precautions this time to make sure it lasts. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nexus 5 here.. Runs like day 1. I have no interest in upgrading any time soon Posted via Technology
  • I would like this. Hopefully this will also be for the note.
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures. Why would anyone in their right mind fall for this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So Apple does this and they are called geniuses, Samsung offers it and are called desperate? You need to rethink your statement, a lot. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nowhere in his statement does he mention that Apple's was a smart decision. Both Apple and Samsungs decision to do this is bad IMO. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why? Posted via the Android Central App
  • He hates Samsung. Fact Posted via the Android Central App
  • when did he call Apple a genius? i must've missed that part.
  • I just paid full retail for a Nexus 6P and it's nice knowing I don't have to pay monthly phone payments to AT&T anymore. I don't want to do that anymore.
  • If you paid full retail how is that any different from paying it off in 24 months when the total of the payments is full retail. Pay upfront if you're getting a good discount, if not then installments is like using their money and not yours. Posted via the Android Central App
  • agreed. it's always a smarter idea to use somebody else's money instead of your own if you're getting 0%. that said, sometimes it's nice to just have something paid for and be done with it. also, you have the flexibility to sell/trade it at anytime.
  • Some of us don't want to be stuck in a contract. Posted via the Android Central App on the Nexus 6P
  • +1. We also don't want carrier bloat, slow updates, or having to navigate their intentionally confusing upgrade programs. Also, owning the phone out right means you can sell it for the market value, which is likely to be higher than what the trade in programs offer. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly.
  • I wonder if they'll offer an unlocked variant through this service. Selling directly to the customers is one step closer. It would be nice to see a version with no carrier bloat, fast updates, and an easily unlockable bootloader a la HTC A9.
  • I'm assuming that's the way they'd have to do it it. I can't see Samsung's financing plans being offered by carriers, as they would compete with their own financing plans. Posted via the Android Central App
  • European me just abhors the simple idea of not paying full price for the phone upfront.
    No, thanks.
    I rather pay for the phone and make it last for as long as I want and if I so wish, resell it myself. This sort of "deal" is only good for iSheep who can't actually afford an iPhone but just want the newest iCrap every year.
  • I'll say the same to you: If you paid full retail how is that any different from paying it off in 24 months when the total of the payments is full retail. Pay upfront if you're getting a good discount, if not then installments is like using their money and not yours. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you're paying installments, you're stuck with that phone until it's paid off, and that can be anywhere between 12 and 30 months. And the only way to upgrade is to pay off the rest of the installments owed. Posted via the Android Central App on the Nexus 6P
  • You can pay the remaining installments in full at any time. When you do that you are out of the installment "contract" and you will have paid the same amount as if you had paid full retail up front. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And buying the phone outright prevents carrier bloat and keeps me out of a confusing contract. There's worse things than paying for the phone outright.
  • Not confusing at all. I got my Note 5 through T-mobile, and paid it off in 3 months. End of story. It was no more complicated than buying my 6P outright. It just allowed me more time to get my payment together. Luckily, T-Mobile has a little less bloat than the others. What I also like is being able to walk right out with a phone rather than waiting however many business days lol. Everything has its pro and con of course. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, Retinella just answered for me. I'll just add this: you NEVER pay the same on a contract than you would paying full price upfront. You always end up paying more. No company who allows you to pay for something monthly does it without making a profit on delaying the payment for you ;)
  • Americans love debt Posted via the Android Central App
  • really? all 320 million of us? that's news to me and I live here. and after 2008, A LOT of younger people (millennials) saw the result of accumulating too much debt and have reacted and planned accordingly.
  • Generally speaking most can't do arithmetic. So they fall into debt.. They don't like it though. Posted via Technology
  • Monkey see, monkey do. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That explains ios 5-9 but what's your point? Posted via the Android Central App
  • $300 for a yearly upgrade might not be too bad. But I'm sure they'll force some sort of Insurance on you and it cost over $400. At which point it's not worth it anymore. Wait for a carrier sale. VzW had like $300 off for the holidays and AT&T had a buy one get one free promo. Posted via the S6 Active
  • Exactly right there. There is a break even point and I am sure the insurance will push it there Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What's happens if you trip Knox by installing twrp and custom roms?
    Would you still be able to take it in after a year? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nothing. I rooted my Note 5 and had no issue.
  • Nope
    I'll stick with a new device every 2 years and take the 75% subsidy discount.
    Keeps my bill low. at&t Posted via the Android Central App via Galaxy S6 Active
  • Good luck with that next time.
  • So your saying if I buy a $1000 device outright, you're only paying $250 for it? Are you sure that monthly bill isn't including part of that payment? And if you're using AT&T in the US, I wasn't aware that they were subsidizing 75% of the cost. Always thought there was either an initial payment with monthly payments for whichever term you choose (which would obviously affect the monthly premium amount) or nothing down with the cost rolled in. I'm on VZ so I'm not 100% sure, but I find it hard to believe that if I were to buy that $1000 device, I'd only pay $250 and the phone is mind.
  • This is exactly why I always object to the use of the word "subsidised". It is the wrong word, and gives people the wrong idea of what is happening, and the wrong idea of how much things actually cost. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Get $50 off new nexus! Pay in full!!
  • This financing program must surely mean Samsung will finally start selling unlocked in the US, as I know a lot of people have been wanting. It's another chip in the carriers armour. Another way for you to cut them out of the equation when buying a phone. It doesn't necessarily help much with the issue of people not knowing how much phones actually cost, but one step at a time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good! Now if every OEM would do this it might push the wireless carriers back to being just dumb pipes. Oh and 0% interest for 2 years with the option to upgrade after 1 and insurance.... Sounds like an alright deal to me. Selling used stuff is a pain and buying new stuff is expensive.
  • No more carrier apps to disable and much better updates probably. Posted via the GS6 Active, aka GS6 M.E. (Manly Edition)
  • Why would you sign up for this when TMOBILE JUMP let's you upgrade 3 times in a 12 month period. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jump on demand Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hope they do this with the Note line. Posted with my NOTE 5 on damn verizon!
  • Just so everyone knows, even if your phone is unlocked and bloatware free, the moment you insert a sim, it gets software updates pushed from the carrier, which usually comes with some software bloat... Has happened to every T-mo and AT&T unlocked phone I have upgraded for friends. Not saying a custom Rom won't fix that... Posted via the Android Central App