Try before you buy by renting that hot cellphone

Try before you buy by renting that hot cellphone
Imagine that you get wind of an exciting new cellphone that you really want, but you don't want to pay the full retail price. You can't take advantage of any special offer from your carrier because you're stuck in the middle of your 2 year contract.

You can have the phone you want and not pay the full retail price. Thanks to a start-up company called Rentobile, you can rent a cellphone for $20 to $50 a month depending on which device you choose. Sign up for a membership and your rental fees are reduced. The selection of phones for rent come from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T. Rentobile has purchased two to five different handsets from each of the four networkers. While phones cannot be exchanged between carriers, some devices that work on T-Mobile's GSM network can be used on AT&T's GSM network and vice verse, without having to break your contract. Those signed up with CDMA based carriers like Verizon and Sprint have to call to get their phone number ported on to the new phone. If a phone is still renryted out after a year, Rentobile will take the phone back and have you try a different device.

If it came down to paying the full retail price or renting that hot new phone, what would you do?

source: RCRWireless



1. secondcor517

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 06, 2008

I think the correct terminology is not "get their phone number ported on to the new phone." You would only port your number if you are leaving the current carrier and moving to a new one. You would exchange esns on the same mobile number.

4. darthvegas

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

True, but we all knew what they were driving at.

5. mixtape

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 31, 2008

I read the article and thought i'd have to change to switch carriers vs an ESN change because that's what it says. Porting and ESN changes are not even in the same ballpark.

2. SprintPower

Posts: 74; Member since: Dec 29, 2008

I get a new phone every two years. I research long and hard by reading tech reviews, user opinions, blogs and forums before deciding on my new purchase strategy. Since I already buy high end phones I am not going to lay out an extra $50 to try it for a month. If after all that research I will probably end up buying it and now it just cost an extra $50. If it were $10 I might go for it but there is no way that business model will survive at that price point.

3. Legion

Posts: 397; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Yeah, its gonna be tough for these guys to get off the ground. I read about this in reuters a few days ago, it said they had around 50 customers or so. But hey, more power to 'em, I hope it does work I just wouldnt pay that much maybe a little lower. Ill have to check their prices.

6. iff2mastamatt unregistered

Perhaps if they lowered the prices the longer you rented the phone... now that would be business.

7. Soloxfl

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 27, 2008

Yeah, I think the prices are definitely too high, if you rent a high end phone at $50/mth for 4 months... you've just about paid 1/2 of what the retail price is and you dont even get to keep the phone. lol, maybe they should switch their concept to "rent to own" that might work at those prices.

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