Samsung Electronics is hoping to entice Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone users to switch over to its latest Android-based high-end phones with a free 30-day trial. The promotion is kicking off just as sales at U.S. carriers are getting under way.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
The promotion, which is only open to iPhone users, costs $1, and lets customers try either a Galaxy S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Galaxy Note 5 for 30 days with no obligation. Customers will get the phone of their choice, an activated SIM card for their preferred carrier and a step-by-step guide to set up the device. After 30 days, customers can either return the phone or choose to upgrade. The trial is available for customers on Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE: S).
As The Verge notes, this isn't the first time Samsung has offered a test-drive promotion. However, when it did so last year it was a far more limited and cumbersome offer. According to AdAge, customers needed to plunk down a $350 deposit for the Galaxy S5 or Note 3, the trial was only 21 days and only available in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Manhattan and Santa Clara, Calif.
Samsung released the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 weeks earlier than it usually does (Samsung has in the past unveiled its Note phablets in early September) to get ahead of Apple's expected September announcement of its new iPhone models.
Samsung hopes that the new phones, ideal for multimedia consumption and multi-tasking, will help it regain momentum in the smartphone market. Although the company is still the leader in terms of smartphone sales, its mobile revenue and profits have been declining. During the second quarter Samsung indicated it underestimated demand for the curved-screen S6 Edge and had to scramble to make up for that; the company has said supply issues have been addressed.
Samsung has also faced stiffer competition, especially in China, from Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo, not to mention Apple, which has continued to see strong sales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus nearly a year after their debut. Research firm Gartner reported this week that Samsung's global smartphone market share fell 4.3 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, down to 21.9 percent. Apple was No. 2 with 14.6 percent market share, Gartner said.
Both the S6 Edge+ and Note 5 run on Android 5.1 Lollipop and are powered by Samsung's own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. The gadgets have 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screens with quad HD resolution. The phones support Cat. 6 LTE, have a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, a front-facing 5-megpaixel camera, 4 GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery that supports both the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi and Power Matters Alliance wireless charging standards.
The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are now available with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory, though pricing varies from carrier to carrier, depending upon which device payment option customers choose. The 32 GB Note 5 costs around $700 when paid off over 24 months or paid for full retail price. The 32 GB S6 Edge+ costs around $800.
- see this Samsung website
- see this CNET article
- see this The Verge article
Analysts: Samsung's high costs for Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ could turn off consumers
T-Mobile offers free Netflix, while Verizon, AT&T and Sprint toss out credits for Samsung Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ buyers
Analysts: Samsung faces challenges ahead as mobile pressures intensify
Analysts: Smartphone growth slows to around 15% in Q2 thanks to weaker growth in U.S., China
Samsung says it will be 'flexibly adjusting' Galaxy S6 prices as Q2 numbers disappoint