It seems a shift in Smartphone purchases is to happen in the next few years in The Netherlands. Several telco’s have already said to be interested in dropping subsidies for smartphone purchases by consumers.
Since the start, mobile phones have always been subsidized. Over the past years, the cost of mobile phones has massively increased and telco’s started pushing for 2-year contracts. Now, it seems like many of them are interested in dropping the subsidies.
Vodafone and Telefonica already started testing the new businessmodel in Spain where the companies offer subscriptions that are extremely cheap (cheaper than the current sim-only) and also in France, a new operator started selling its services this way. European operators spent 13 billion to subsidize smartphones in 2011. That’s twice the amount they invested in their networks.
One of the reasons why this model shouldn’t pose a problem is because of the sub-€100 smartphones that are entering the market now which takes away the necessity to artificially lower the prices of devices. Consumers that want the latest and greatest will just have to finance their phones themselves.