Taiwan’s third largest operator Far EasTone Telecommunications has moved into handset financing to make premium smartphone models more affordable to potential new customers.
Its 4G handset leasing service allows consumers to lease iPhone 6S models and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 for TWD297 ($9) a month but requires them to sign up for a two-year service contract for TWD1,399 ($42.57) per month.
Far EasTone is the first operator in the country to offer the service in Taiwan and follows moves by Sprint and T-Mobile in the US to tap into the rising demand for handset leasing, the Taipei Times reported.
The launch comes after the Taiwan operator offered financing for iPhone purchases last month under the name of “early upgrade plan”.
Far EasTone chief sales and marketing officer Maxwell Cheng told the Times that the service is designed to boost ARPU and expand its 4G market share. It had 2.59 million 4G subscribers as of 30 September for a 28 per cent market share.
Cheng said its 4G customers spend between TWD1,100 and TWD1,200 per month and estimates that 10 to 20 per cent of subscribers will opt to lease a phone rather than buy one.
More than half of Sprint’s postpaid subscribers lease their smartphones, Far EasTone said.