The new package, called the Access package, includes the phone, the Microsoft addition, a Premium Care warranty and 1 terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage for a monthly fee. The prices range from $37 per month for the base S20 to $48 per month for the S20 Ultra.
Users will be allowed to upgrade or cancel at any time, although there will be a $100 fee for those who get a new phone in less than nine months or cancel after less than three months, Engadget reported. Device payments will last for three years if a user declines to upgrade, although trade-ins don't count for those who might be looking for better deals through selling their old phones.
The idea of bundling the S20 with Microsoft's products indicates a move toward treating the Samsung phone as more of a service, rather than a one-time investment. The monthly payments have been done before. Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, which gives users the company's new handsets every year if they keep paying, is another such attempt to soften the blow of an expensive phone.
During the pandemic, phone manufacturing, like everything, has slowed down. Production was projected to hit a record low in the second quarter, with the global production rate expected to drop to 287 million units between April and June, a 16.5 percent year-over-year decrease.
Samsung's production rates were in trouble even pre-pandemic, though, with over-saturation being a factor, as well as Chinese brands exerting pressure on the brand's presence in Southeast Asia and India. Samsung production in the first quarter dropped 10 percent to 65.3 million units. Samsung's second quarter production rates were predicted to drop another 11 percent to 58.3 million units.