Samsung gives Note 3 'no questions asked' protection for South Africa

Details of the new guarantee were revealed at Note 3 launch along with hints that a sub-$50 could be on the cards for developing markets.
Written by Adam Oxford, Contributor

Samsung is hoping its strengthen the appeal of its newly-launched Note 3 phablet in South Africa with extra 'no questions asked' protection for the hardware.

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At the Note 3 launch, Samsung announced improved terms for its Accidental Damage from Handling warranty (ADH) to cover the new phablet.

The ADH scheme, which was launched with the Galaxy S4 earlier in the year, offers two 'no questions asked' repairs for Galaxy phones suffering from screen or liquid damage within the first two years of ownership. ADH was introduced for South African customers with the launch of the Galaxy S4 earlier this year and is being extended to the rest of the continent, starting with Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and Namibia.

Under the new warranty, ADH Premium, the firm will extend that to guarantee a 24 hour turnaround for repair or replacement of the Note 3, and for South African customers covers an on-site collection of the handset. In addition, if customers don't use both claims on their ADH guarantee within the first 12 months and then upgrade their device, the balance will rollover onto the new phone.

All ADH guarantees are offered with devices at no extra charge.

The firm is also introducing a buyback service with the Note 3, guaranteeing at least 25 percent of the purchase price back on devices sold within a year of purchase and 10 percent on devices sold within two years.

George Ferriera, COO of Samsung's South African arm, also announced that starting with the Note 3, Samsung Africa will begin to preinstall a healthcare app on all new Galaxy phones sold in Africa.

The app, Smart Health, has been endorsed by the United Nations Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and will include information for spotting symptoms of common diseases and available treatments. It will also be available for free via Google Play and the Samsung Store for travellers to the region.

There were also hints that the price of smartphones in the region are set to tumble dramatically and that a $50 smartphone could soon be a reality for customers in the developing world.

"A $50 smartphone from a tier-one manufacturer... is something I expect to see within the next six to twelve months," Ferriera said during a discussion of the company's internal targets to own at least 50 percent of the market for smartphones on the continent by the end of the year.

The race to produce low-cost smartphones for African audiences is going to be a key theme for next year, as markets in the region begin to move away from feature phone domination. Qualcomm has previously spoken about its plans to work aggressively with white label partners to produce lower-costs devices, and analyst Gartner is predicting that smartphones will outsell feature phones in Kenya by the end of the year thanks to cheaper hardware like the Intel Yolo. South Africa's Vodacom already sells a Smart Mini running Android 4.1 for R799 ($79) on a prepaid tariff.

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