Recently on 12 March, Apple unveiled its much anticipated third-gen iPhone SE, fifth-gen iPad Air and iPhone 13 in refreshing spring colours, powerful Mac Studio and a new 27-inch 5K Studio Display.
Of course, us tech fans (and Apple lovers) lapped it all up, but bemoaned our inability to own everything (even if we could, that’s really too many devices for one person). I mean, Apple holds almost 1 event each quarter, how to keep up?
And that’s Apple alone… Imagine if mere mention of the latest tech makes your ears prick up, and activates the urge to get your hands on the fastest, shiniest, covetable mobile phone, laptop, desktop, tablet, smart watch, earphone and accessories out there?
Tech ain’t cheap, especially if we’re instinctively early adopters. This Apple MacBook Pro that I’m writing this article on, easily costs over $3,000 a pop. My mobile phone, albeit an old secondhand model, was bought for $500 on Shopee, while my husband’s latest Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra set him back $1,858.
Why renting the latest tech could make more financial sense
This concept of renting isn’t new.
Think about expats who rent furniture for their rental home in Singapore, or renting a car for a week on a road trip around Kyushu, Japan? How about renting a space for your new business, or even those who “rent” a faux significant other just to avoid awkward questions from nosy relatives during Chinese New Year?
Here are 5 ways why renting the latest tech could make more financial sense:
1. Upfront cost
The new iPhone 13 Pro Max retails at $1,799 for the 128GB version. A person who opts for a 4-month BNPL (buy now, pay later) plan pays almost $450 a month, while someone on a 12-month interest-free instalment plan makes monthly repayments of almost $150.
Let’s see what happens when we rent it for a 12-month period from provider Circular:
Rent per month: $89
Total rental cost after 12 months: $1,068
Savings vs buying the phone: $1,799 – $1,068 = $731
That sounds pretty cost-effective, especially for someone like my husband who is always chasing the latest tech — I see him with a new device the moment he’s finished paying for the previous one. *Cough* Glad he doesn’t do that to his real life relationships.
In addition, when you buy an iPhone, you’re likely to add on AppleCare, which costs $369 — not to mention the service fee of $42 for screen or back glass damage or $148 for other accidental damage. I feel it’s great that Circular also includes their own complimentary Circular Care, which covers 90% of your repair or replacement costs. It’s pretty much like Apple Care, sans the 24/7 priority access to Apple Experts.
2. You avoid “buyer’s regret”
Ever bought something on impulse or after hearing rave reviews from peers only to realise it doesn’t suit your needs? Now you’re stuck with a white elephant, or something that you need to force yourself to use for a few years till it finally breaks down.
Ugh, and all those accessories you need to buy to make it “better”? Even more sunk costs!
Alternatively, you may have bought something not aligned to your time and habits. Maybe the new tech gadget mostly sits untouched on your shelf after just a month because you only needed it for a project… again, that’s money that could have been better spent elsewhere!
This could have all been avoided with a rental. Even for the most commitment-phobic, on Circular, we spotted a one-month subscription plan for the new iPhone 13 Pro Max at $104/month — that means I don’t need to pay the full sum just to “sample” the latest tech.
Remember all those times you had to bring your device to the shop and spend a few hundred bucks to fix a broken screen or if you suay suay dropped your phone into the pool while on your Marina Bay Sands staycay?
Owning something naturally means maintenance is needed. And product warranties might not cover 100% of those costs, even if it wasn’t your fault. Under Circular’s subscription model, 90% of your repair or replacement costs are covered!
4. You do the environment a favour
Producing a new tech device uses a lot of resources, and constant upgrading sends more than what’s necessary to the landfills. Yup, all this is both detrimental for our environment and our wallets. Renting a device instead reduces e-waste and the carbon footprint of using electronics.
5. Reselling is a hassle
You’re trying to resell your older device after upgrading to the latest version. Can you even find a buyer? Oh, and all those awful lowballers and trolls on Carouhell are a pain to deal with. Plus, you haven’t taken the best care of your device…
Perhaps renting might be the easier way out. For example, if I rent a device on Circular and really like it, there’s the option to extend the subscription, upgrade to the latest model or even purchase the device.
Limited-time offer: Rent the latest tech for free
From 1 to 15 April 2022, MoneySmart readers who sign up for selected Citibank credit cards through MoneySmart can opt for a 6-month subscription where you can rent the latest tech from Circular for FREE. Think iPhone 13, iPad Pro or Macbook Air!
Set up by tech fans who care for the environment and fellow tech fan’s wallets, Circular offers hundreds of handpicked gadgets to choose from, from big brands. These run the gamut of phones and tablets, computers, gaming/VR, audio and music, wearables and home entertainment.
- Cash Back on Eligible Spend
- Min. Spend per month
- Cash Back Cap
- Cash Back on Dining, Groceries & Petrol
- Up to 8%
- Total Cash Back Cap, per month
- From Shell & Esso
- Up to 20.88% savings
- Local Spend
- S$1 = 1.2 Miles
- All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Selected Online Hotel Bookings
- S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
- Shopping and Online Spend, including Food Delivery and Groceries
- S$1= 10X Points
- Grab and Gojek
- S$1= 10X Points
- All Other Spend
- S$1 = 1 Point
Think about how long we tend to use the gadgets that pay in full upfront for, or via BNPL or some other form of instalments. With something that’s getting increasingly transient such as the latest gadgets, renting becomes the most cost-effective way to literally enjoy your new tech without straining your wallet.