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'Uberising' smartphones in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines

AvantiKumar | Nov. 1, 2016
A Malaysian asset disposition company ties up with Maybank to allow customers to buy a new smartphone every year.

Smartphones in use (Public domain) - done

Photo (Public Domain) Smartphones in use


A new smart ownership programme hopes to fundamentally change how people in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines buy new smartphone devices.
The new programme called ReNew+ is the result of a tie-up between Malaysia-based regional IT asset disposition (ITAD) company ComputerAsia (CompAsia) and Maybank EzyPay.
Julius Lim, chief executive officer of CompAsia, described ReNew+ as "a rare pioneering move never before undertaken by an ITAD company to penetrate and compete in the new smartphone devices markets in these countries."

ReNew+ has been launched to initially offer upgrades for iPhones because there is always a great demand for them in the resale market as these cherished premium-priced iOS devices are still unaffordable by many in the developing Asian markets. Additionally, iPhone users tend to upgrade more frequently than other smartphone owners," said Lim.

He said the programme, for instance, allows customers in Malaysia to pay a monthly fee for a new iPhone 7s or 7+ and to trade them in after 12 months of payments to get the next generation iPhone without having to deal with any upgrading or termination fees.

'Uberising' smartphone buying

Customers are required to purchase the latest iPhones from CompAsia's online store or from the participating stores of its collaborating partners. Tied to Maybank's EzyPay that offers an interest-free instalment plan of up to 24 months, this upgrade programme allows eligible customers purchase the new iPhones using Maybank's credit cards.


Photo - (From left) Julius Lim, CEO of CompAsia & team unveiling the smart ownership programme 'ReNew+' in Petaling Jaya.

'Phone Guard' is bundled into the plan, which provides a one-year free protection for cracked screens. Lim said the next move hoped to offer more choices and flexibility than that currently provided by traditional consumer OEMs and local mobile carriers.

"We hope ReNew+ can impact, if not, 'uberise'' the way smartphones are being sold and bought here in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines," he said. "The 'uberisation' of this smartphone market is just getting started and we can expect to see new and smarter ways of maximising utilisation of capital and assets to tap both the forward and reverse logistics of the smartphone supply chain."

"Clearly, the smartphone market and its development are accelerating so rapidly making it the next big business ripe for Uber-style disruption," Lim said.
"Unlike OEMs and carriers who are focusing on selling the latest flagship devices to encourage upgrading so as to shorten their replacement cycles, CompAsia instead, is set on ensuring a steady supply of used devices to encourage re-use and longer-use," he said.

"Ultimately we want to make it easier for smartphone users to sell their used devices as too many may end up in a drawer rather than being resold," said Lim.

"Our aim is to make that process convenient and easier to allow reuse and longer-use devices to thrive so that consumers and the environment are protected from the unnecessary costs of premature obsolescence," he said.

"We aim to maximise the life cycle of every smartphone and we will reuse and repair until it has no re-use value before we recycle them," said Lim. "We strongly feel re-using them is a great technology choice that can help reduces the overall impact on the environment. Sustainability has always been the core driver of our ITAD business at CompAsia."

"Deloitte Global has predicted one billion smartphones will be purchased as upgrades for the first time in 2016," he said. "So what happens to older ones? As such we feel moving forward in the supply chain to tap the new smartphone devices market is a right move for us especially given how the smartphone market is primed for such massive growth."

Set up in 2012, CompAsia operated its first facility in Petaling Jaya to offer secure data removal, repair, rebuild, refurbish and remarket used consumer electronics such as laptops, desktops, servers, PC monitors, tablets and smartphones.


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