Samsung is looking to sell its own refurbished devices in order to make money on its premium smartphones a second time around, according to Reuters. The company will introduce a refurbished device sales program “as early as next year,” according to Reuters’ source, and will use inventory provided by customer who sign up to a year upgrade program in markets where it’s offered, including South Korea and the U.S.
Selling refurbished devices to give them second life as revenue drivers is nothing new – Apple has an extensive refurbished devices storefront, which typically begins to offer refreshed and remanufactured hardware a few months after the original introduction of the original, brand new product.
Devices that are re-sold by a manufacturer as refurbished typically get an all-new external casing, as well as new components if there were an issue. Some of the goods likely never had any issues to begin with; as soon as a buyer opens the shrink wrap on a product, it’s likely going to be sold as refurbished.
If Samsung gets into the refurbishment business, it could help the company delivery premium devices at less than premium prices, especially because it seems like customers are increasingly willing to keep their devices for longer and find fewer reasons to upgrade every year. Reuters notes that there is a chance refurb models at a discount could cannabalize sales of new devices, and fewer distinctive features or technology upgrades between generations could worsen that effect.
Still, Samsung has a deep bench in terms of smartphone offerings, and being able to double-dip on revenue on a decent percentage of them, especially in cost-conscious markets, is a big carrot to recommend the plan. Details of the plan, per Reuters, could be ironed out by early 2017, meaning we might not have long to wait to see if Samsung goes down this path.