Tech Five: Samsung may lease smartphones

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Report: Samsung Planning Phone-Leasing Program.

Forbes, citing an unnamed “industry executive with knowledge of Samsung’s plans,” on Sunday reported that Samsung could announce the new leasing program for Galaxy devices in the next several months — or even sooner.

After Apple’s iPhone upgrade program, Samsung is reportedly going to offer a similar service that allows users to lease its flagship smartphones sans a carrier-bound contract. The scheme would let users rent the latest, top-of-the-range smartphones for a monthly fee, using the phone plan of their choosing, and swapping their rented phone for a new model every year. Telecommunications experts say Australian consumers would “definitely be interested in that sort of offer” but rental schemes are likely to face opposition from Australian phone carriers. Under its scheme, users will commit to paying between $32 and $44 a month for two years and will receive a new, unlocked iPhone each year, as well as hardware and software support, and coverage for two accidental damage incidents.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said Australia’s voracious technology consumers would likely embrace phone rental schemes as while smartphones were usually offered by carriers on a two-year contract, they were usually upgraded every year. “Australians are upgrading their phones regularly and for those who want the latest handsets all the time, it would take the hassle out of reselling and buying new phones,” he said. “It would be particularly attractive for consumers in that second year. If you’re in the second year of a contract, you’re effectively paying for an older handset.” Australia, with 40 per cent of Australians currently paying off a mobile phone on contract, and phone makers may not want to “upset their relationship by competing with them”. But carriers are now moving away from that model, potentially threatening sales of expensive iOS and Galaxy devices, so Apple and now apparently Samsung are taking matters into their own hands with these new phone leasing programs.

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