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Where did it all go wrong? Say hello to the future!

There is a famous and funny story about the footballer George Best that perfectly highlights the contrasting views about whether or not he wasted his talent, or merely just enjoyed the best in life. The above quote was aimed at George when dating Miss World – YOLO!

If you don’t know the full story then Google it; even though it really has nothing to do with this blog it is a great tale. Actually, the reason I mention George Best is because back in 1968 he was the world’s first £1,000-a-week footballer.

Back in September, Apple unveiled the iPhone X, which is only just starting to ship and if you’re lucky you should be able to get one in time for Christmas. With the iPhone X, Apple became the first major mobile phone company to break the £1,000 barrier.

Where did it all go wrong? How did we end up thinking that £1,000 isn’t too much to pay for a mobile phone? That’s more than you would spend on a TV, laptop or holiday!

In a previous blog “Isn’t every phone smart?” I looked at how smartphones and apps have transformed our lives. Since then we’ve become even more dependent on our smartphones and the addiction is growing as we use them to perform practically every task that forms a crucial part of everyday life.

“Say hello to the future” is Apple’s marketing department’s catchy slogan to introduce the iPhone X, where the entire phone is a screen – and no buttons! Ironically I predict the future is more and more £1,000 phones.

So as the cost of mobile devices increases, how does this affect the enterprise customer? Traditionally, businesses have purchased their mobile devices as part of their mobile network contract, typically using some form of ‘tech fund’– a virtual pot of money that allows businesses to purchase mobile devices as and when needed. However, this fund is often created from the margin on the airtime tariff. In the increasingly competitive world we live in, lower all-inclusive sim-only tariffs are threatening this model and forcing customers to re-evaluate their mobile purchasing strategy.

If the devices are no longer funded by the airtime contract, will organisations be happy to pay £1,000 for a mobile? Will we see a return to dumb phones for business use and an incentive to BYOD?

I don’t think so – after all, no-one is prepared to go backwards. One scenario – which is increasingly likely – is that the corporate mobile world adopts the same model as the car industry, with the device rented separately from the airtime.

In fact, new ranges of flexible leasing options exist that allow you to use the devices you need without having to buy them outright. This means it is now possible to rent a smartphone over 24 months for a simple monthly fee, and at the end of the term either hand the device back, purchase the existing one at a fair market value or continue leasing the devices. In some instances the residual value of the device (usually high for iPhones) is also taken into account, leading to a further saving in the monthly fee.

Say hello to a future where everyone has £1,000 worth of mobile technology in their pocket or purse!