Mobile plans: Can renting the iPhone 14 really be more affordable?

You’ve heard of renting houses, but have you ever thought you could rent a phone? Yes it’s possible.

With numobile’s latest subscription offer, you can rent the latest mobile phones to save both your hard-earned money and the environment.

However, there are a few terms to be aware of, so keep reading to find out all the details of numobile’s new offering.

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Who is numobile?

numobile is a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) powered by Telstra. It has big plans to ease the financial and environmental burdens of owning a quality mobile phone by offering customers refurbished options at cheaper rates.

But numobile has gone one step further by creating nu subscription – a leasing service that allows customers to get the latest phones now.

How does the nude subscription work?

With bare subscription, customers can choose to “rent” refurbished or new phones while subscribing to one of its SIM plans. Sounds easy, right? numobile express sends you a phone (free of charge) and you reimburse it over 36 months. Unfortunately, this is not as clear as it seems.

Is the naked subscription cheaper?

Suppose you want the latest iPhone 14 but can’t afford to pay for it outright. With numobile, you can pay from just $37 per month to lease the device now, but keep in mind that the minimum repayment over the entire term is $1332. And this excludes the costs of the SIM plan you have chosen.

When the absolute price of an iPhone 14 direct from Apple is $1399, that means customers will only save $67 in total.

For comparison, here are numobile’s 36-month lease plans for the new iPhone 14:

And here’s how the iPhone 14 36 month plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone stack up:

Because they have very small data allowances, numobile’s entry-level rental plans are technically cheaper than what you’ll find on Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. However, as you move up the data allowance, there is less savings between what Numobile offers and Optus and Vodafone.

Alternatively, if you want the latest iPhone ASAP but can’t afford to buy it outright, our advice is to look into Apple’s 0% interest financing option. This way you can buy the phone outright and then get a cheap plan from an MVNO on your network of choice.

How eco-friendly is Naked Membership?

If you are a serial phone collector or want to reduce waste by giving new life to an old phone, numobile might be a good option for you. But it is not the only ecological choice that exists.

When you want to upgrade, you can trade in your old phone with Apple or any other carrier for cash on your new device. It also comes down to getting more money back than you would initially save by renting a device from numobile in the first place.

With so many other refurbished devices on the market and trade-in options available, numobile really doesn’t come out ahead here.

Who is liable for damage to bare subscription phones?

Another surprise in numobile’s T&Cs is that the customer is responsible for any damage caused to the device during the rental period.

For example, if a customer leases an iPhone 13 for 2 years and it comes back damaged, the customer will face an additional $209 charge once it is returned. When you do the math, that risk outweighs any savings from renting the device, putting even more of a burden on the customer.

After the bare subscription ends, what happens to the device?

At the end of your subscription, customers will need to return the device for an upgrade or recycling. Payments customers make during the 36-month period do not match ownership at the end of the subscription period – much like renting a house.

During your lease, you can only save a maximum of 0 on an iPhone 14, but even then you won’t own it. When you consider how much customers get for trading in old devices or reselling them as refurbished models, it doesn’t seem logical to pay for a phone you can’t keep.

How can I upgrade a naked subscription sooner?

If you’re desperate for a newer model and you’re six months away from the end of your 36-month contract, you can end it early. This seems generous at first sight.

However, this is still a minimum contract period of 30 months and why shouldn’t you be able to leave whenever you want? It’s a lease, not a purchase. For those who are always looking for the latest and greatest devices, it is extremely important to think about this limitation before signing up.

Is the main naked subscription option worth it?

Honestly no. Free express shipping, a 30-day change-of-mind guarantee, and guarantees are enticing, that’s for sure. But if you do the math and read the fine print, there are plenty of hidden fees and conditions that send up several red flags.

There are many other ways to help the environment and reduce the cost of owning a phone. Instead, we suggest researching finance and trade-in options before buying a phone and exploring MVNO plans around the same price for a more competitive deal.

Here are some of our most popular MVNO packages:

Christie Graham is a digital content writer at WhistleAustralia’s mobile and internet comparison site.

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