Samsung's new upgrade plan aims to put a new Galaxy in your hand every year

The program is only in the U.K. and South Korea for now, but it's easy to see how the U.S. could be the next destination.

Samsung Galaxy S7 EMBARGOED until Sunday Feb. 21 1 PM EST
Barbara Krasnoff

Samsung has never been shy about taking “inspiration” from Apple. The company appears to have done so again, this time with a monthly installment plan that would grant you a new Galaxy smartphone each year. 

According to Reuters, customers who buy either a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge can sign up for a 24-month installment scheme, which makes you eligible after 12 months to exchange the device for the latest Samsung flagship, which will presumably be the Galaxy S8.

There were reports of this plan as far back as last summer, but it never really came to pass.

It’s not unlike the iPhone upgrade program, which also offers a new iPhone on an annual basis in exchange for monthly payments and a trade-in of your current model. Samsung is rolling out the effort in South Korea and already has it live in the U.K. Though if it’s successful, it’s quite likely it would come to the U.S., and potentially spread to other parts of Europe.

The story behind the story: Smartphone margins continue to narrow, particularly in the Android ecosystem where high-end devices like the Galaxy S7 must compete with a swath of fairly good quality, low-cost handsets. If Samsung can take the away some of the sticker shock of a brand new phone, it may get more people to go with a Galaxy device and become long-term customers through annual upgrades. 

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