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Is there a Smarter Way to Upgrade to the Latest Flagship Phone?

singtel mobile leasing

Mark Cheng

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This post was written in collaboration with Singtel. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best recommendations and advice in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.

Singaporeans certainly love their mobile devices, and in case you didn’t know, the mobile penetration rate in Singapore stands at about 150% right now. What this means is that on average, Singaporeans have 1.5 mobile subscriptions per person.

Mobile phone manufacturers are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and enhancing their handsets with increasingly sophisticated capabilities. It’s no surprise that with these advancements, the cost of devices has risen significantly.

So, when it’s time to change your phone, you could be forking out more than $1000, depending on the model.

But is paying upfront making the best use of your hard-earned cash?

Singtel has come up with a new phone scheme for their SIM Only customers, which not only lets you get the latest phone models at $0 upfront, it also helps you to manage your cash flow better.

We’ll take a look here at the details of the scheme and why it might be a smarter way:

 

How Does Mobile Leasing Work?

Available to Singtel customers who are on Singtel’s SIM Only mobile phone plans, the service allows you to get a new phone at $0 upfront with easy monthly payments starting from $35. Plus, you can own the phone at any time OR upgrade it after 12 months for $200. Signing up is easy. No credit card, minimum income or deposit is required.

What does this look like in terms of cost? Here’s a simple breakdown using a Samsung Galaxy S9 as an example:

Cost Leasing Purchasing
Upfront payment $0 $1,198
Monthly payment $35 $0
Upgrade fee at 12th Month $200 $0
Total cost (over 12 months) $620 $1,198

*Prices indicated are valid as of 7 June 2018

As a simple illustration, you can see that you already save $578 by leasing the phone. Now you could argue that this doesn’t take into account the trade-in value of the phone, but you are then going to need to make sure that the phone that you trade in has a value higher than $578.

The value of this is also that it allows you the flexibility to own the phone at any time and still pay less than the recommended retail price (RRP).

So what happens if you love the phone so much that you want to buy it? You can still purchase the phone at the equivalent of 30 months of leasing the phone, which is once again still lower than the RRP (in the above case, it is $1,050 vs buying the phone at the start for $1,198).

You can check out the full list of FAQs here.

 

Is this going to replace purchasing of phones?

While there will definitely still be a sizeable group of people who will purchase phones, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, this service is definitely good for people who want to stay in touch with the latest mobile phone technology and don’t want to deal with the hassle of trading-in the used phone or the clutter of having multiple phones at home.

This program is also great for parents with teenage kids who want to use the latest phones. Instead of getting them a pre-paid plan, they can easily sign up for a SIM Only plan and get their kids to learn about managing their own finances by paying a smaller amount each month rather than a huge sum upfront. I mean, you don’t expect your kid to be purchasing a $1,000+ phone on his own right?

There’s definitely an excitement to getting hold of a new phone, and this service gives you that opportunity while helping you to manage your financial liquidity at the same time. It’s hard to describe the new phone feeling in words so check out this video to see what we mean:

What are your thoughts on Mobile Leasing? Do you think this is better than buying a phone? Share your thoughts here!

 

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Mark Cheng

I rant and rave a lot, but when I'm not busy doing that, I'm managing the content for MoneySmart. I love Singapore, but I also believe in helping it to improve bit by bit, and that's where MoneySmart comes in. Have some thoughts? Drop me an email at [email protected]