September 22, 2015
Samsung plans to bypass telecom carriers with a new program offering U.S. customers the option to lease its Galaxy smartphones, according to a Forbes report.
Details on the exact pricing schedule for Samsung’s leasing program are not available, the report said, but it is expected to follow a similar path as Apple’s (AAPL) monthly payment plan for upgrading iPhones.
Earlier this month at its iPhone introduction, Apple threw in a wrinkle on buying options by letting customers upgrade their iPhones yearly through its retail outlets in the U.S. with a monthly $32 payment plan. The move, which effectively bypasses telecom carriers customers historically go to for handset upgrades, is called the iPhone Upgrade Program.
Under the program, customers are urged to buy iPhones directly from Apple’s retail stores at a starting price of $32 a month based on a two-year financing plan.
Apple’s and Samsung’s leasing programs are seen as a response to moves by carriers such as AT&T and Verizon to no longer offer subsidies to users seeking phone upgrades in exchange for signing two-year contracts but instead forcing customers to buy their own hardware at full retail prices.
The policy is widely viewed as potentially harmful to Apple’s and Samsung’s sales.
In late August, Samsung began offering iPhone users a 30-day trial to test its latest Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 phablet in a no-strings attached promotion that costs users $1 to participate. Out of the gate, the campaign, which started on August 21, appeared to be a big hit–inside of three days Samsung reportedly ran dry its supply of eligible smartphones to fill the promotion’s demand.
The vendor subsequently sweetened the deal, adding an additional $200 in credits for potential buyers of one or more of the new devices.
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