Smartphone subscriptions are here, but should you care?

Fairphone smartphone subscription

Source: Fairphone

Smartphone subscriptions will be the future, like it or not, and Fairphone is among the first companies to announce such a service. Today, the company unveiled its subscription service to help users purchase its durable and easily repairable Fairphone 4 smartphone.

Fairphone Easy is a brand new subscription service which allows customers in the Netherlands to purchase the FairPhone 4 for a fixed monthly fee, rather than buying it outright for €579. Interested customers will be able to purchase the easily repairable Fairphone 4 for just €21 per month, assuming the user signs up for a 60-month plan (that’s five long years). Users can also choose from 3, 12, and 36 month plans at different prices. The subscription also requires an initial deposit of €90 upon registration. The plan includes the Fairphone 4 with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage in green color.


Subscription price is flexible and decreases over time assuming the phone is kept in mind and there are no cracks, water damage or anything else that could affect performance and usability of the device over the period.

Fairphone 4
Fairphone 4 is easy to repair thanks to its unique design
Source: Pocketnow, Fairphone

The subscription service aims to make buying smartphones easier, more affordable and more environmentally friendly. Fairphone is known for its focus on making things more sustainable and it wants to reduce e-waste. We also wrote an article on how you can ethically dispose of your electronics. It’s also worth noting that Fairphone offers a 5-year warranty on its devices, while most other companies usually only offer 1-2 years.

To quickly recap, the Fairphone 4 is powered by a Snapdragon 750G chipset, and it has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage. It has a 6.3-inch FHD+ display, a 48 MP primary, a 48 MP ultrawide camera on the back and a 25 MP selfie camera on the front. . It has a 3905mAh battery and supports 20W wired charging. The phone allows customers to easily replace batteries, cameras and other components at affordable prices.

Smartphone subscription services are the future

Smartphone subscription services are inevitable and will play an important role in the future as companies look for new business models to generate an even more stable revenue stream. Subscription models are very cost effective and many services depend on them today such as Microsoft Office 365, Adobe, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many more. We also learned that Apple plans to announce its own hardware subscription service to let even more people buy expensive iPhones and potentially other products.

What are the benefits of smartphone subscription services?

smartphones Source: Pocketnow

Subscription services are flexible and allow people to purchase goods that were previously out of reach. It’s much easier to pay $30 a month than it is to pay over $1,000 for a smartphone or computer, and it’s a trend that has grown steadily over the past decade.

Upgrading could also become much more accessible, thanks to the rolling contract between the customer and the company. After a certain period, the user can automatically upgrade to the latest device, requiring them to return the old device or keep it for a one-time fee. The latter would be bad for the environment, and most people would probably choose to upgrade, instead of keeping obsolete devices.

Depending on the subscription level, there may be benefits, allowing users to take advantage of signing up for other services, much like what carriers offer today. These could entice users to sign up and receive free subscriptions to popular services like Disney Plus, Netflix, HBO, Spotify and more. There could also be screen protectors, cases, and even chargers.

Are there any disadvantages?

Although these subscriptions allow great flexibility, it is worth pointing out the disadvantages. Dropping deals with carriers could make SIM-only plans more expensive, as network providers would have to raise prices to make up for lost revenue. Operators could also opt in and introduce their own subscription packages, or continue to operate normally as they do today, which would offer users to keep and own the devices at the end of their contract.

On the other hand, smartphone subscription plans are unlikely to allow users to keep their devices and would likely require customers to return them once the contract expires. This has the advantage of being more environmentally friendly, as the company could recycle the device and create new ones from the materials of the device. Yet this would further reduce the ownership of assets.

And then there is the question of who will pay for damaged devices. Subscription services might charge a one-time fee for a replacement device, acting like an insurance package that can be bundled at different levels. This would add additional costs to the plan, making it even more expensive to use a smartphone.