Soon, that high-end Samsung smartphone you’ve been wishing for might be had for less. And no, we’re not talking about buying it from a gray-market importer.
The world’s top phone maker, whose recent works include premium phablets like the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy A9 Pro, is reportedly preparing to launch a program to sell refurbished handsets as early as next year, a person “with direct knowledge of the matter” told Reuters Monday. If pushed ahead, used high-end phones returned by users in markets like the U.S. and South Korea where Samsung offers one-year upgrade programs will be resold at a discount.
The report hasn’t been confirmed yet, and the Reuters source declined to drill into details, such as where the priced-reduced, refurbished phones would be sold and for how much. Without any idea how significant the savings would be, it’s tough to comment on the matter.
Regardless, the idea of not paying full price for a Samsung flagship should appeal to many. Not to mention, second-hand options sold directly by brands to consumers usually undergo a tight refurbishment process (to fix or replace faulty parts) and are covered by a warranty. It’s probably right to assume reconditioned Samsung Galaxy S and Note devices won’t be any different.
Those who have been hoping for years that Samsung would compete with the second-hand market may be asking: Why now? We could imagine that risking cannibalizing the sale of new mid- to high-end Galaxy smartphones was an incredibly difficult decision, but some would argue it’s for the best. Samsung is already facing increased competition in China and other parts of Asia where Chinese brands have done so well in recent years.
In the West, Samsung’s greatest rival already sells used devices on the Apple Refurbished Store, offerings discounts between 15 and 25 percent on MacBooks and iPads. It also wants to sell refurbished iPhones in India, but the plan has been put on hold after meeting stiff resistance from local companies and the Indian government.