It’s a fairly common feeling, you get a new smartphone and are thrilled with it. A year goes by, the new phones come out and that debate with yourself begins all over again. Should you wait a year, or is it worth it to upgrade now?
Well, Samsung is trying to make it easier for some of its customers to make that grand decision, officially launching an upgrade program that makes it easy to trade in your old Samsung smartphone when a new one comes along.
The program appears to have launched in South Korea and in Britain. Users are asked to agree to pay a small additional monthly fee – the price seems to vary by market – for 24 months when they buy their phone. After 12 months, if their phone is in good condition, they can trade their old phone in for a new one. This program is timed to activate with the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
A Samsung spokesperson said that the company doesn’t have any information to share about the launch of this program in the United States at this time.
Apple already has a similar program for the iPhone and many carriers also offer plans that let you upgrade your phone more frequently. But the benefit for smartphone makers to run these programs is quite clear: getting people signed up on their own upgrade plan gives them a better shot at a repeat consumer, repeatedly. If you’re paying for and annual upgrade plan, chances are pretty good that you won’t be waiting two years before buying your next phone.
This scenario is particularly appealing to companies like Samsung, because of the current slow growth in the high-end smartphone market. Consumers aren’t quite as excited as the used to be with new smartphone introductions, which have become more incremental rather than revolutionary lately. Not only that, low-end smartphones are improving in overall quality, making them more appealing to those who don’t need to stay on the cutting edge of smartphone design.
Samsung has been hit particularly hard by the diminished enthusiasm for smartphones. The company said in January during its quarterly earnings report, that it expects smartphone sales to be slow throughout the year. While it did report a fairly strong holiday quarter for 2015, the company said its net profits had fallen 40% from the previous year.
Samsung’s new phones, however, have gotten rave reviews for combining the strengths of its most recent phones – metal construction, and an excellent camera – with some features it brought back from older models, such as expandable memory and water-resistance. The new phones will officially go on sale Friday.
Read Article (Hayley Tsukayama | washingtonpost.com | 03/09/2016)
I must agree, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge just hit a home-run in the market. And the new upgrade program even has me thinking. We have already covered how mobile innovation has plateaued, which meant smartphone sales were going to do the same, so this is no surprise.
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