Not too long ago, Apple launched a program to allow users to lease the newest iPhone and upgrade each year. In essence, as long as a customer continued paying, they were ensured the latest iPhone model available. The introduction of this program comes at a time when the traditional wireless contract and subsidized phone is in steep decline with most carriers, guaranteeing Apple a significant chunk of users that formerly took advantage of such programs. Some of them may even stick around for life, using the program to get their hands on the newest iPhone each year until Apple stops selling them. Not one to take this sort of thing sitting down, rumors flew that Samsung may be launching something similar. Samsung confirmed the rumors and confirmed today that they will be launching a program similar to the one their arch-rival launched.
The first handsets available with the new program are the upcoming twin flagships, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The program will be launching on March 11, the release date of the two new devices. In order to get on board, users will have to agree to a two year lease for their device of choice. Once they're in, they're eligible for an upgrade after only 12 months, allowing them to jump to the newest devices as they hit the program and, presumably, keeping up with Samsung's flagship Galaxy S release cycle. Users who upgrade will no longer be on the hook for the payments on their current phone, since they'll be trading up to a newer model.
The program will be launched out of Samsung's chain of physical outlets in their homeland of South Korea, known as Samsung Digital Plaza. They'll be partnering up with their affiliate credit card company, Samsung Card, to fund the program and finance handsets for users. The South Korean smartphone market may well get a much-needed rejuvenation from this effort. It should be noted that there was no word on when or even if this offer will be leaving South Korea and heading to other countries, namely to the United States where rival Apple continues to be dominant.