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2021 Tariff Trend Report: Innovation in Selling Smartphones Via Financing Schemes - a Survey of 47 Operators' Device Financing Schemes

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  • 48 Pages
  • July 2021
  • Region: Global
  • Tariff Consultancy
  • ID: 5447642

The analyst with this 48-page report considers the innovative financing plans that are being adopted by MNOs worldwide. The most common type of financing is an instalment plan for the device cost usually on a 24-month term - but MNOs are becoming increasingly innovative in selling handsets by offering more options to encourage users to upgrade or trade-in their smartphones. 

The analyst has surveyed the device pricing for 47 MNOs from 28 countries worldwide.

The survey found that the different types of smartphone financing used by MNOs worldwide include:

  • In nearly all cases the MNO is separating out the device cost from the airtime cost which is shown separately. MNOs are devising lower cost ways for the user to pay for the smartphone device, typically by extending the device repayment period - up to a 36-month (3-year) term.
  • In some cases, the MNO is developing extra features with the device plan, including the ability to trade-in a device or change a device after a set period. It allows the MNO to continue to sell services to the user ahead of the customer contract term coming to an end - and also encourage new smartphone upgrades.
  • The migration from 4G to 5G networks which is now taking place means that MNOs are encouraging users to upgrade to 5G handsets with promotions - with discounts for selected 5G smartphones being offered by Verizon (USA) and other MNOs.   
  • Some MNOs have “productised” the instalment plan as a sub-brand, as a means of further promoting the instalment plan.
  • However, as yet only a few MNOs have used the instalment plan to offer additional services, including Digi (handset protection), Telenor (screen protection), SFR (handset replacement) & Proximus with an extra mobile data allowance included.

Table of Contents

  • Methodology
  • Introduction - The types of smartphone financing used by MNOs worldwide
  • Examples of the smartphone financing plans introduced by MNOs worldwide
  • Innovation for the traditional smartphone finance plans & possible limitations
  • Conclusions - The future of the smartphone finance plan

List of Figures 
Figure 1 A table showing the exchange rates used in SnapShot 167
Figure 2 A table showing monthly pricing in USD per month for the Apple iPhone 1 5G 64 GB smartphone from selected MNOs worldwide
Figure 3 A chart showing the MNO Apple iPhone smartphone installment pricing in USD per month from selected MNOs worldwide
Figure 4 A table listing the MNOs who offer a 36-month smartphone payment plan
Figure 5 A table showing examples of selected MNO premium usage plans combined with a device financing plan
Figure 6 A chart showing the types of additional services being offered by MNOs with the smartphone finance plan
Figure 7 A table showing the key features offered by selected MNO sub brand finance plans
Figure 8 A table showing examples of recent 5G smartphone promotions worldwide


The analyst researches its reports typically within a three-month period. All of its reports are based on primary and secondary research including interviews with relevant companies/operators covered in the report. The analyst also draws on its extensive in-house database and its contacts in the field of telecommunications it has established since the company was launched in 2006.

The analyst has 26-years of experience in the field of telecoms pricing both mobile and fixed. They have a network of consultants as well as a multi-lingual research team, with languages spoken French, German, Polish and Spanish.