5G cell phone rental is an alternative to high device prices; see how it works


With the arrival of 5G, cell phone subscriptions appear as an alternative to escape the high prices of devices compatible with the connection. The so-called Phone as a Service (cellular as a service) allows the consumer to have access to the newest models for a monthly fee, as in a rental.

It’s an option for those who can’t afford the spot price of a high-end smartphone or don’t have enough credit limit to buy one on installment. Today, an iPhone 13 costs BRL 7,600 at Apple’s official store, while a Galaxy S22 costs BRL 6,000 at Samsung.

Changing cell phones frequently without worrying about resale is another attraction for those interested in new technologies, such as 5G. Subscription plans range from about R$100 to R$400 per month and cover the main models on the market.

A survey by the consultancy GfK shows that, between January and May 2022, sales of 5G-compatible smartphones in Brazil grew 230% compared to the same period in 2021, but they remain expensive.

The average price in this period was BRL 3,738 for devices with 5G, compared to BRL 1,601 for those incompatible with the new technology, a difference of 133%. With the popularization of devices and the official arrival of technology, the trend is for prices to fall. In the last year, the average value of these cell phones dropped 30%.

Leapfone, a mobile subscription startup, offers 11 models from Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi brands for subscription. Of them, five are compatible with 5G.

On the market since September 2021, the company has about a thousand active subscriptions, of which 48% are for cell phones with the technology. For Stephanie Part, head of Leapfone, more and more people are understanding that buying is not the only way to have a good device.

She believes that the price and the possibility of annual replacement of the device are attractive, given the scenario of high inflation and reduced purchasing power. The prices of the offered plans vary between R$118 (iPhone SE 2) and R$369 (iPhone 13) per month.

The business model is still timid in Brazil. Today, five companies offer this type of service to individuals. In addition to cultural resistance to product rental, the model is not recommended for those who can buy a device in cash, do not take out insurance and usually keep the same cell phone for more than two years.

“We noticed a resistance in the older public, which is still very attached to the idea of ​​buying. Almost 60% of the demand for Leapfone comes from people under 34 years old, showing a much greater adherence of the new generations for this type of service. the young audience, the important thing is to have access to technology, regardless of the ownership concept”, said Stephanie Part.

“In the past, it was normal to buy a CD, a movie or a computer program, but today this idea doesn’t even make sense. We believe that in the future we will think the same way about the idea of ​​buying cell phones, cars and other durable goods.”

Samsung itself has also entered the subscription cellphone market. The Samsung Semper Novo program, in partnership with Porto Seguro, offers the company’s three main line cell phones, the Galaxy S22, the S22+ and the S22 Ultra. Plans cost from R$259 to R$399 per month.

“One of the great advantages of the service is that the consumer pays approximately half the value of the product and can have the newly launched Samsung Galaxy every year. In addition, the subscription includes insurance against theft and accidents, and a spare device”, explains Eduardo Santos, director of services and innovations at Samsung Brazil.

The digitization promoted by the pandemic, the devalued exchange rate and the shortage of microchips have stimulated the subscription technology market in the last two years.

According to the consultancy IDC, the computer rental market (computer as a service) should move more than US$ 100 million (R$ 525 million) in Brazil in 2022, a growth of 21% compared to last year.

“With 5G technology, people will want to upgrade their devices and leasing will be a possibility to have access to the connection for many people who would not, at the moment, be able to buy a device”, said Stephanie, from Leapfone.

Here’s how to get a cell phone subscription:


  1. Visit www.leapfone.com.br
  2. Select a plan (Smart, for pre-owned phones, or Select, for new ones)
  3. Choose the device, subscription period and features such as color and storage
  4. Register and enter the site
  5. Subscribe to the chosen plan

Samsung Always New:

  1. Access the website www.techfacil.com.br
  2. choose cell phone
  3. Choose the color and storage of the selected device
  4. Fill in your details (you must have a Porto Seguro credit card)
  5. Subscribe to the chosen plan

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