Samsung is again trying to lure buyers to get one of its latest Galaxy smartphones with a rebate offer to pay your monthly lease or installment device payments through 2015, for a total amount up to $120 per customer.
The "phone payments on us until 2016" rebate promotion was announced by Samsung on its Website for customers of participating mobile carriers in the United States, according to the offer. Customers of AT&T are not eligible for the rebates, though no explanation was provided. The announcement also does not specifically mention which mobile carriers are participating in the offer, though Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular are being named as participating, according to other reports.
Samsung declined to comment on the promotion in response to an inquiry from eWEEK.
The up to $120 rebate offer is also being accompanied by an additional $100 reward offer for iPhone owners who trade in their phones on a new Samsung device. The $100 iPhone reward will be given in the form of a Google Play credit.
Under the deals, customers must get a Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Galaxy Note 5 smartphone on an installment plan or lease to take advantage of the rebate and Google Play credits.
Both offers are only for a limited time and require pre-registration at Samsung's promotions Website. Customers trading in an iPhone must register at the special site before trading in the phone. The device trade-in and the leasing or installment payments for the new qualifying Samsung device must all be done in one transaction before Oct. 9, according to the terms of the offer.
For customers who are not trading in an iPhone on a new qualifying Samsung device, they must lease or buy the device on an installment plan before Oct. 9 as well. For both offers, customers must submit their original register receipt(s) online by Oct. 16. Mail-in offer claims must be received by Nov. 19.
The offers are limited and are available as long as supplies last, according to Samsung. No more than 100,000 Google Play credits are available.
In August, Samsung invited iPhone users to take 30-day test drives of the company's latest Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Note 5 (pictured) smartphones, which officially went on sale Aug. 21. Any iPhone owner could participate in the Ultimate Test Drive after paying a $1 fee and registering their iPhone on the program's Website. Participants could choose from one of the two phones and also receive an activated SIM card and a step-by-step instruction guide. They then had 30 days to choose whether they would buy the smartphone after they test or if they would return it.
In September, reports circulated that Samsung is creating a program that will allow smartphone leasing directly to consumers, bypassing mobile carriers as the primary means of getting its Galaxy phones into the hands of users. That effort would mimic the plans of Apple, which earlier this month announced its own iPhone Upgrade Program that will let consumers lease iPhones from Apple and get new devices once a year when new models are released.
Under the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, the company will allow customers to pay a monthly rate for their device, starting at $32 per month for 24 months, and allow them to get a new model each year, according to an earlier eWEEK story.
The Apple leasing program was announced alongside Apple's revamped and updated iPhone 6s models during a two-hour media event on Sept. 9 in San Francisco where Apple CEO Tim Cook and a who's-who list of Apple executives paraded out new features and improved capabilities for the company's products. The new iPhone 6s includes a 4.7-inch display while the 6s Plus includes a 5.5-inch display, both of which are wrapped in a new stronger cover glass. Both new phones are built around Apple's fastest smartphone chip, the A9, which is a third-generation 64-bit chip.
Samsung has been hit hard in recent years by lower sales of its mobile phones, which have been losing ground to cheaper phones from Chinese handset makers, and from stiffer competition from Apple and other competitors. Much of the recent sales slump likely was due to consumers who were waiting to see the then-new iPhones and Samsung's own replacement for its earlier Galaxy S5 phone.
Samsung is still trying to figure out how to continue to hold its shrinking lead in the global smartphone market in a competitive atmosphere that has seemingly placed a target on Samsung's corporate back.
Samsung even held its special Samsung Unpacked 2015 preview event on Aug. 13, about a month before its normally scheduled September launches, so it could try to beat Apple in the marketplace.