Samsung’s biggest challenge this year is to increase its foldable phone sales to counteract the disappearance of the Note. Unfortunately, there won’t be a Galaxy Note 21 this summer, as Samsung opted to skip a year, blaming the move on the ongoing chip shortage. According to recent leaks, Samsung will launch the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 in August instead.
Even so, a $1,500 Galaxy Z Fold 3 would be more expensive than most of its rivals, making it a tough ask for potential buyers. Even people interested in the new form factor might find the price tag more difficult to swallow, despite any promotional deals Samsung could throw at them. But now, after trying several Galaxy Z Fold 2 deals earlier this year, Samsung is testing a new strategy to make its foldable phones more affordable.
Samsung extended the free trial period for its foldables from 14 days to 100 days in the US. It then followed this with a similar promotion in the UK, where buyers had 60 days to try a foldable handset before buying it. At the same time, Samsung cut the prices of both the Galaxy Fold 2 and the original Galaxy Z Flip.
With two months to go until the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 are expected to launch, Samsung has started a different program in Brazil. The Korean smartphone vendor partnered with Porto Seguro on a Tech Facil subscription plan that allows buyers to use the Fold 2 for a year by paying a monthly fee. They can decide to keep the handset, discard it after a year, or upgrade to the next model. It’s somewhat similar to Apple’s iPhone upgrade program that’s already in place in the US.
Brazilian customers have to pay 499 real ($98) per month to use the Fold 2. After a year, they can renew the subscription and move to the Fold 3 after returning the original handset. They can also choose to return the Fold 2 and terminate their subscription. A third option allows them to keep the Fold 2 by paying the remaining balance.
As SamMobile explains, the subscription has other perks that make it worthwhile. Porto Seguro offers protection against theft and all sorts of accidental damage (physical, electrical, and liquid). This is certainly the kind of extra protection foldable phone buyers should seek to reduce the risks of accidental damage. In addition, should the foldable device need repairing, the user would be given a temporary replacement smartphone.
With two months to go until the Fold 3 launches, getting the Fold 2 on the Tech Facil subscription plan might not be the best idea. Buyers might be better off waiting to see whether the Fold 3 will be included in this promo. After all, the same subscription is available for the three Galaxy S21 versions that Samsung launched earlier this year.