A new Samsung Galaxy phone can be incredibly expensive -- the just-released Galaxy Note 7 will run you a whopping $850. But if you don't mind something gently used, you may be able to get one for a price that won't rip a hole in your wallet. According to Reuters, Samsung plans to start selling refurbished phones as early as next year.
Samsung would sell phones that have been returned as part of annual upgrade programs, according to Reuters' source, and do so at less than retail price for a new phone. The source declined to say how big a discount customers would get.
This move makes it easier for Samsung to compete in the mid-tier market with its premium devices. To some, a gently loved piece of premium hardware from last year might be more enticing than a new phone that isn't as fancy. It could also help abroad in developing nations where an $850 smartphone is too pricey for consumers, or in Asia where mid-tier phones from competitors like Huawei are increasingly popular.
Refurbished phones tend to get a few new parts. It's possible that customers will be getting a brand new battery or display, as well as a manufacturer's warranty that you don't get by buying a used phone from eBay or Craigslist.
There is a question as to whether or not refurbished phones will compete with Samsung's newest phones. It will be interesting to see the sales breakdown of new phones after the program is put in place to see if the latest, priciest phones don't sell as well. Of course, there will always be someone who wants the latest and greatest.