In a bid to offer worldclass services, MTN in South Africa has just announced plans to launch the latest iPhones, the 6 and 6 Plus, to their subscribers on contract terms. Read more about the features of the phones here.
The iPhone 6 will be available starting at R499 per month while the 6 Plus will be at R699 per month. The payment plans are as follows:
Why doesn’t Zambia offer similar contract plans? Fear of customers’ defaulting on payments maybe?
Well, they could always choose who they give such privileges to. It’s easy to track down a defaulting client since all subscribers are registered under the KYC program and retract the gadget.
They can base the contract on who has been on their network longer, their spending patterns with regards to the telecoms services such as airtime top-up. They can actually set the plan in a way that they get a fraction of every airtime recharge to pay back for the phone.
If there are issues with underwriting the entire thing, they should get a third-party phone seller to handle the risk of the contract scheme and the financials.
This should apply to all telecoms networks infact. They claim they want to add value added service, this is it! What are they waiting for? There are always glitches with credit schemes but with a great team, third party or not, running it, they will have no problem minimizing their losses.
The contract plans also help them get rid, or more subtly, sell off their latest flagship phones at a value higher than it is at the point of roll-out, rather than keep them instore, depreciating, until they are forced to drop prices because by then another phone may be released that they also need to market. They can build a premium off the risk of credit schemes before the market value drops.
So, what about other mobile operators? In a phone call today, Yuyo Nachali Kambikambi, Airtel Zambia’s Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Manager stated that contract plans are something they could consider in the near future but as at now they only have contract plans with teachers after signing an MoU with the Zambia National Union of Teachers. Read more about that here.
However, I think the payment plans should only apply to smartphones. The lower end phones can still be sold for cash. I think that’s a fair minimum standard.
Image Credits: Extreme Tech, The Guardian