Upgrade Programs from manufacturers are very few and far between, with Apple being the only manufacturer to announce such a thing (Update: Turns out HTC also offer an upgrade program, offering rebates if you hand in your old HTC device). How this works is you pay so much a month for a particular device over 24 months (in Apple’s case the iPhone 6s), and every 12 months you get a free upgrade to Apple’s next flagship device. One caviet is you need the send the phone back to Apple/Samsung for the upgrade to be valid.
Samsung Upgrade Program
Rumours of the Upgrade Program were cited by multiple technology websites in January, with Bloomberg reporting that it may launch in March alongside the now S7 & Edge launch
It looks like Bloomberg were right, as Samsung have launched this service alongside the Galaxy S7 & Edge announcement, although the Korean tech giant have been quiet about it, with no technology websites really reporting this launch
It’s no surprise that Samsung are offering this service, as Samsung have shown an ‘Apple-like’ initiative over the past few years. The best way to put Samsung and Apple’s relationship is as “Frenemies”. The upgrade program works exactly like Apple’s – You choose from either the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge (32GB, Black or Gold Options), enter your details for credit on the device and pay it off in monthly installments over the agreed 24 month period.
In the UK, the Galaxy S7 edge is £27.60 a month over a 24 month period with the aforementioned free upgrade to the companies next flagship, the S8 (name subject to change). A £56.90 one-off deposit is required initially also. This is also due to credit approval from Samsung’s partner, Pay4Later.
The Galaxy S7 is £24.58 per month with the same terms stated in the paragraph above.
Way of the Future
Upgrade Programs are a great way to keep the customer interested in a product over time. If you have an incentive to keep using a device over a 12 month period with the promise of an upgrade after that period, then a customer will take that deal, since it’s infinitely cheaper than most contract providers out there.
It goes without saying that Upgrade Programs will dimish the need for a phone contract over time. We aren’t quite there yet, but 2 of the biggest companies in the world offering such a thing like a leasing program is a great idea for a customer to get a great deal on their latest and greatest handsets.
The Galaxy S7 & Edge on contract at this moment in time is quite expensive, with £36 a month along with a £120 up-front payment being the cheapest. Sure, you get a phone contract with data, minutes and texts – but the add-ons you get with that contract will be the bare minimum.
This program also means you would only get the phone, and you would need to take out a ‘SIM-only’ contract with a carrier of your choice. This still works out cheaper than going through the carrier for the phone as well as the contract, though.
For example: If you went with the Samsung Upgrade Program and let’s say you ordered a Galaxy S7. This would be £24.58 per month with a £56.90 deposit. You then go to the UK carrier ‘Three’ and get a £17 ‘SIM-only’ contract with 200 minutes talk time, unlimited texts and ‘all-you-can-eat’ data. This would take it to a total of £41 per month. From the outside looking in, that may seem expensive, but it isn’t. If you did the same thing through a mobile carrier for the phone as well, this would cost a whopping £64 through ‘Three’. That’s a massive saving over 24 months. Plus Three would not offer a free upgrade to Samsung’s next flagship device after 12 months.
I see a lot more manufacturers taking the route of an upgrade program, because the manufacturers are looking out for number one at the end of the day. They want as many consumers as possible sticking to their brand and line of devices, which in turn makes them more money.
After doing a little bit of digging through Samsung’s T&Cs, as well as their website to find out which countries have this purchasing option, I came up with nothing.
So far, it seems the UK is the only country to have it. I did try browsing the US website and attempting to purchase through there, but the furthest I got was to a ‘retailer selection’ screen with no option to purchase through Samsung themselves.
If I find out anymore information on this, I’ll update the article to keep you in the loop.