Why it’s not always important to upgrade your devices when you renew your contract

What businesses should consider when looking at a mobile technology refresh

Guest blog by Phil Lewis, Key Account Director, Client Renewals and Retention, at Adam Phones

If you are approaching your business contract renewal and considering your technology requirements, the obvious next step may be to upgrade your mobile devices at the same time. However, this can be a costly and often, unnecessary move.

Whilst the latest phones are seemingly the logical choice for your contract, it is important to consider the cost implications; not only for the handsets, but the associated line rental charges. By not being too quick to upgrade your hardware you’ll keep your monthly telco costs lower.

But what could you be missing out on: is it just extra pixels or have there been major milestones?

New smartphones used to cost around the £300 mark, now they’re pushing £1000; the iPhone X for instance, starts at around £999 – this is more expensive than the average laptop or TV. Yet, while handset costs are rising over time, the changes and advancements in technology are less noticeable year on year; the latest device is often more of a social status than a business need.

Looking at recent innovations in smartphones, most of the technology improvements of the last five years have surrounded screen size and quality, battery life and processing performance; all valuable, but small evolutions rather than the beginnings of a revolution. Mobile technology enhancements are certainly in more of an incremental phase at present – while we have had fingerprint ID capabilities since 2013 – iris scanning and 3D face modelling, (from Samsung and Apple respectively) have only debuted in the last year.

Although it would be little unfair to compare anything to the costly yet revolutionary iPhone X – with its all screen OLED display, facial recognition and wireless charging – the earlier released iPhone 6, launched in 2014, and the iPhone 8, launched in 2017, are not that dissimilar from one another.

To put this into context for businesses, if you use device launch prices and adjust for inflation, the iPhone 6 is £30 per handset cheaper than the iPhone 8 – something that would make a large difference on a sizable fleet. Using an inflation adjustment, a 150-line customer buying iPhone 8 devices for their users would spend £4,500 more than iPhone 6 users. While many might argue that the iPhone 8 is a more superior device, has the technology moved on enough in the last few years to justify such significant additional spend?

There just aren’t the same business benefits to upgrading every two years that there were, say, six years ago and there are other considerations to include:

  • Device failures – how often do smartphones need to be replaced so they continue to function reliably? Today’s devices go wrong far less now than ever before; for example, we’re seeing much less failures, we replaced 36 per cent less mobile devices in 2017 than we did in 2016.
  • Security updates – businesses will want to ensure that the devices they use – regardless of age – remain supported with the latest OS updates to deliver the highest levels of security.
  • Warranties – most devices are guaranteed for 24 months, but Apple handsets are usually covered for only one year. They may be the most expensive, but they do tend to go wrong much less – and with the appropriate software updates, they can often go on for years and years.

Unless a device needs to be replaced because it is stolen/lost or broken it doesn’t always make business sense to upgrade every two years – or when the latest device comes to market – especially when the business benefits are likely to be minimal. Save that technology fund for when you really need it…

For more information on how Adam Phones can help you with your business communications – including mobile devices and contracts – get in touch or visit www.adamphones.com.