What Apple does, Samsung often tries to do better.
It’s happening again with Samsung rumored to launch its own leasing scheme that mirrors the iPhone Upgrade Program.
According to a Forbes report, the new effort may come in the next several months as Samsung seeks another way to lure more buyers to its Galaxy phones. It’s already tried to do so by loaning out a new Galaxy device to iPhone owners for 30 days. The Ultimate Test Drive was popular enough that Samsung ran out of loaner devices.
With Apple’s plan, you lease the phone and get AppleCare coverage with the ability to trade in the device after a year. The initiative helps Apple build a more direct relationship with customers by cutting out the carriers and softens the blow of off-contract prices. The major carriers have followed T-Mobile in mostly eliminating subsidies, with Verizon the latest to overhaul its plans.
It Samsung’s leasing initiative comes to fruition, it would be another major effort to keep customers coming back for that yearly upgrade. The key question is how willing customers will be to lock themselves to Samsung when there are so many different Android manufacturers.
The story behind the story: Samsung has a long history of emulating Apple, some of which has spurred a lengthy legal battle between the two companies. But at the heart of the matter is customer loyalty, something Samsung may not have as much of as Apple does. Android fans, in our experience, tend to care more about getting the best device and taking advantage of Android-specific features rather than just picking up a new phone annually from the same company.