Constantly upgrading to the latest smartphone isn't cheap, which is one of the reasons why Apple's trade-in program has been well-received. Selling on officially refurbished versions of its high-end phones has so far proved quite successful for the Cupertino company, so it comes as little surprise to learn that rival Samsung looks set to launch a similar program.

According to a report from Reuters, the South Korean giant is "looking for ways to sustain earnings momentum after reviving its mobile profits by restructuring its product line-up."

With Samsung's version of the program, which could arrive as early as next year, the refurbished phones will come from users who signed-up to the company's one-year upgrade programs in locations such as the US and South Korea.

Once someone hands in their old device when the 12 months are up, the company will refurbish and resell it at a discounted price. There was no word on just how extensive these discounts would be, which handsets would be on offer, or the countries where the program would be available.

Brokerage house BNP Paribas says that a used Samsung phone sells for about 51 percent of its original price in the US, while second-hand iPhones tend to be priced at 69 percent of their original cost.

It's unclear to what extent the second-hand phones would be refurbished by Samsung. Reuters notes that refurbished phones typically are fitted with parts such as a new casing or battery.

While the program could help Samsung compete with the increasing number of low-cost Chinese smartphones flooding the market, it may also affect sales of its own mid-tier devices.