TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singtel launches 2-year rents for latest smartphone models

Monthly rents for the iPhone 8+ and Samsung Galaxy S9+ are at $51 and $45, respectively.

Singtel launched its mobile leasing plans that will allow its SIM Only customers to rent out the latest Apple and Samsung phones for a monthly fee.

According to an announcement, its SIM Only customers can lease the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phone models for 24 months, with the option to upgrade their handset in the 12th month by paying a $200 fee.

Monthly rents for the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S9 are at $37 and $35, respectively. Fees for the iPhone 8+ and Samsung Galaxy S9+ are at $51 and $45, respectively.

"With prices starting as low as $35 per month for a Samsung Galaxy S9 (64GB) for example, customers can save up to $578 off the regular retail price if they choose to lease the handset for a year or $358 if they opt to keep it for two years," the telco said.

Customers can only upgrade their handsets when they are in "good working condition" and when they take up another Singtel Mobile Lease on a SIM Only plan.

Lost or damaged handsets will be covered by MobileSwop Unlimited at the start of the lease. "MobileSwop Unlimited customers enjoy unlimited Swops and one Replacement of their leased phone every 12 rolling months," Singtel added.

Customers can own the device after paying leasing fees for 30 months.

Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO for Consumer Singapore at Singtel, commented, "Our mobile leasing plans allow customers to take advantage of the flexibility of our SIM Only plans and give them the option to lease a smartphone at an affordable monthly rate.”

Analysts said Singtel has unexciting earnings growth ahead as it expects consolidated revenue to grow by low single digit. However, it declared a payout ratio to 81%, which could provide "certainty to investors on the sustainability of the payout." 

Singapore incumbent telcos are scrambling to gain back their revenues and market share after new competition such as Circles.Life launch new gimmicks to attract customers. Moreover, the sector is suffering from a bleak outlook due to intensified competition that has resulted in price wars and revenue erosion, amongst others.

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