Samsung said to plan smartphone-leasing program

The South Korean electronics giant is planning to follow Apple with monthly payment plan for smartphones, Forbes reports.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 is said to be getting a device leasing program. CNET

Samsung is reportedly planning to borrow another page from Apple's smartphone playbook.

The South Korean electronics giant is planning to introduce a program that will lease its flagship Galaxy smartphones to customers in the US market, like the one Apple introduced earlier this month, an industry executive said to have knowledge of Samsung's plans told Forbes. The leasing program could launch in the next couple of weeks or sooner, the source told Forbes.

The report emerges less than two weeks after Apple unveiled its own device upgrade program for customers who want to buy a new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus without agreeing to a carrier contract. The new program will allow customers to upgrade to a new iPhone every year for a monthly fee.

Apple will still offer iPhones for customers who still want traditional two-year contracts, but this is the first time the Cupertino, California, tech titan has offered a device upgrade program.

Leasing programs backed by smartphone makers come as wireless operators are moving away from traditional two-year contracts and the device subsidies that come with those plans, and instead are requiring customers to pay full price for devices. T-Mobile was the first major US carrier to abandon contracts more than two years ago. Verizon recently announced it is doing away with the two-year contract for new customers.

Carriers have also started to promote no-interest payment plans for premium smartphones, which tend to come with hefty price tags. T-Mobile and Sprint also offer leasing programs. Sprint recently announced a plan that allows customers to lease a new iPhone for $15 a month with the option to upgrade at any time.

AT&T and Sprint still offer the option to subscribe to a two-year contract, but they also offer device financing and leasing programs.

Samsung declined to comment on the report.

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