As part of Samsung's continued efforts to make amends with disappointed customers, the company is offering a big incentive to South Korean Note7 owners to stick with the brand. Those who exchange a defective Note7 for a Galaxy S7 will be able to trade the S7 in and get a Note8 or S8 when those phones come out; the total price paid by the customers will be half of the price of the S7 model they choose, with no charge for upgrading.
The logic of the program can be a little difficult to follow and we are relying on Reuters' translation of a press release written in Korean. With that said, here's a breakdown of what has been reported:
- Note7 owners choose any variant of the Galaxy S7 as their replacement and elect to join an upgrade program.
- As part of the program, they will only pay roughly half the cost of the replacement S7 when considering the partial refund they receive during the exchange process.
- When the S8 and (later) the Note 8 are released, these customers will send the S7 back to Samsung and receive their new generation phone free of cost.
Again, this is both subject to change and to translation error. The offer is based on making half of the monthly payments a normal customer would make on the S7 before receiving the free upgrade; Samsung has not made it clear how the refund plays into the cost, though it would appear that customers will receive a full refund on the Note7 and then pay out of pocket for the S7.
Samsung mentions in the release that customers have until November 30th to join the program, but also that they are not yet able to enroll while details are worked out with carriers and vendors.
Reuters asked Samsung if this offer is likely to come to the US and was told, in Reuters' words, that offers "in other markets will be dependent on the situation in each country." This announcement will surely drive customers in these other markets to ask for similar options.
The announcement indirectly confirms Samsung's commitment to the Note line, which for the moment will dampen speculation that the Note7 spelled doom for it. A program like this one can pay off if Samsung can get the next-generation phones into the hands of once-interested customers and provide the positive experience that was hoped for in the Note7.