Rumored Galaxy Upgrade Program scheduled for S7 launch

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 27, 2016
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A new report out of South Korea claims that Samsung is planning to launch a Galaxy upgrade program alongside the Galaxy S7 launch in March. The program would be very similar to Apple’s current upgrade program, whereby a new phone can be rented instead of bought, and upgraded once per year.

The story comes from South Korea’s Electronic Times and is pretty light on details, including how competitive Samsung’s monthly payments would be compared to Apple’s. If we look to Apple’s iPhone upgrade program for inspiration, this report from Fortune shows that Apple’s program costs about the same as buying the phone outright, and both options are much more expensive than a standard two-year contract.

samsung galaxy s7 first look aa-16See also: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumor roundup: release date, price, specs, features30

The resale value on a second-hand iPhone is, naturally enough, much higher than on a used Galaxy device. So while owning your iPhone after a couple of years gives you options on the resale market, a two year old Galaxy is worth much less, making the upgrade program that much more enticing, but only if it is competitively priced.

Either way, we’ll soon find out when the Galaxy S7 is launched around MWC 2016. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 6s is available starting at $32.41/month and the iPhone 6s Plus at $36.58/month. Both of these plans are device-only, requiring you to source your own carrier service on top. The Galaxy upgrade program is reported to launch in South Korea with a US launch to follow.

Would you use a Samsung upgrade program? How much do you think is fair per month?

  • Žiga Štupar

    Weel this is intresting, but question is will it be avaible in all countries or just some and why changing once per year i never change my phone once per year i always keep my phone at least 2 years becouse its better upgrade when you go from S5 to S7 than going from S6 to S7 as for me i will go from LG G2 too S7.

    • Btort

      there’s plenty of people who switch more than once a year. so far last year I switched about 7 times

  • Alina Shah

    Interesting..

  • aaloo

    Off course. And it’ll have 3D Touch, 64 bit processor, Touch ID, rose gold colour, Live Photos. Plus a few of samsung’s gimmick, which no one would care about.

  • Total Faith

    I would find it fair at a price of $22-$28/month. that would be at its peak around $1700 every 5 years. In 50 years you would pay around $17000. But you would always have the newest shit on the market! I would try it. But I would not really know what to do with the “old” phones! I think I would just give them to my friends or donate them!

    • You’d have to give the old phones back to Samsung. If you upgrade prior to 24 months you don’t keep the old hardware and get new hardware That’s kind of double dipping. You hand over the old hardware in exchange for them forgiving the remaining payments and you going back into debt with the for the MSRP of the new phone. The only time you’d keep any hardware is if you pay the full MSRP, whether that’s all at once or over 24 months … but you don’t get to keep it unless you buy it.

      It’s still a good deal. You still get a new phone every 12 months. If you like Samsung and don’t have $700 to burn every year on a flagship this is still a way to have the hotness for a manageable payment.

  • Kody

    Idk, I would consider it if it was something that was consistently getting better. I mean from s5 to s6 we lost the memory card which was my big thing What happens if a feature I like gets taken away and I don’t like the upgrade. And if I’m renting this thing then $30-40 per month seems fair. I’m curious what happens if I don’t upgrade, will that mean I continue paying until the original market value is reached then I keep the phone or do I pay less?

    • What you’ve described, paying until the original value is covered, is exactly what happens with Apples iPhone upgrade program. At the time of purchase the MSRP of the device is divided by 24. If you continue making all 24 payments without upgrading (which starts a new “agreement”) then you own the device. I think it’s safe to assume Samsung would do the same because it’s common sense but I’ve been surprised before lol

      From Apples Website:
      What happens if I don’t want to upgrade my iPhone after 12 months?

      You’re under no obligation to upgrade, and after 24 payments, the phone is yours.

      • Žiga Štupar

        so you can skip but if you skip and keep phone for 24months could you also then use this programe or is whole point that you upgrade every 12months?

        • Fancy terms aside this is a 24 month loan (or could be revolving line of credit if you upgrade every year?) with an option to renew. The first 12 months are business as usual, you make your payments and everyone is happy. Starting at 13 months all the way through 24 months you have a choice to “upgrade”. If you upgrade, the unpaid remainder of that loan is forgiven by you handing over the old phone with consideration you’ll be immediately going back into debt with them for the new phone. So let’s say that over the span of 12 months you’ve paid $350 and $350 is left to be paid over the next upcoming 12 months. If you’d like then you have the option to hand over that phone and they forgive the remaining debt of $350 which they do because you’re about to go back into debt with them for $700 for the upgrade which starts the cycle over.

          Simply put it’s a way to get a phone and spread it out over 24 months but it also has a nice perk attached which allows you to upgrade halfway through. It’s just another option. If Google offered this for Nexus devices I’d be on it. I’m just personally not a fan of samsung so I’ll pass on this.

          • Kody

            I wonder how profitable this would be for Samsung model would be for Sammy. With apple it makes sense because you would want to upgrade only after 2 year, for example iphone 5s –> 6s takes 2 years since going from 6 to 6s is just silly. If you make something that people want to upgrade every year you’d be selling effectively at half price every year.

      • Kody

        Cool, thanks for the info. =)

  • I hope so, this may mean faster updates and no carrier bloat.

  • Jerry Rich

    Actually if you check prices on Swappa you’ll see the used Galaxy S6 in mint condition is more expensive than a used mint Apple IPhone6. So much for apple holding value,

    • Btort

      just because that’s what it is right now it doesn’t mean that’s how it always is. you can’t compare the s6 and iphone 6, the note 4 came out around the same time as the iphone 6. and 4 months later, the note 4 was worth a lot less than the iphone 6…$50 less and the note 4 was a $699.99 phone while the iphone 6 16gb wasn’t even close to $699.99