Apple outlet Amac has introduced a subscription that allows you to rent Apple computers and other gadgets from Apple for a monthly fee. A gadget subscription. That fits perfectly in today’s society with Swappie and Netflix, but is it also smart?
Possession or subscription?
Swapfiets is of course the textbook example of the subscription company. People don’t always want to own everything. We are increasingly leaving behind us the consumer era, which was particularly rampant in the 1990s. Owning less, because that saves space in the house, or pressure in the head. Renting also means something else: if it breaks, you often just get a new one.
So there is certainly something to be said for renting. If you only need a bicycle for half a year, renting a Swapfiets is a better alternative than having to buy a new two-wheeler yourself. However, if it concerns the long term, you will probably be cheaper with your own bicycle. That is also why older generations often raise their eyebrows at the idea of Swappie. Now a bicycle in itself is a fairly stable object: you can just have it made at the bicycle repair shop (or yourself) and you don’t have to worry that it will no longer receive updates at some point.
However, that is different when it comes to electronics. You can of course buy a laptop yourself, but it probably won’t last as long as the average bike. They are devices that depend on updates. Now Apple’s update policy is good, but MacBooks also become a bit slower at a certain point, the tech is outdated and you would do better to opt for a new one. In that respect, renting such a device is actually attractive: you can change devices more often that way.
With Amac you also have lower costs than if you owned the device yourself. If you look at what you pay per month, it’s less than the device would cost new. The Amac subscription lets you pay after the difference between the new value of the gadget and the residual value after a year or 2 or 3. Amac therefore also wants you to change gadgets relatively regularly, because they then use the device to sell or refurbish. This creates a better ‘circle of life’ for a device than throwing it in a corner somewhere as a kind of alternative that you will probably never use again once you have something new.
Subscription to tech
The idea is that you ‘rent’ an iPhone for 1000 euros, for example, with the idea that the residual value will be 400 euros after two years. That means that you have to pay 25 euros per month, because there is 600 euros left over and you have to pay that in those two years, plus interest. If you have enjoyed the device so much after two years and you want to keep it, you can, but of course you still have to pay.
Renting gadgets is quite smart: especially if you often want to change devices and are careful with your stuff (although that is also an advantage if you own it). The downside is that you may not be able to stick stickers on a rental device if you really want to do that to personalize it a little more. However, you should also take a good look at what will be done if your device is stolen or broken: to what extent is renting cheaper than owning it?
Stay up to date
Still, with tech products you probably come to the conclusion that renting is better. That way you stay more up-to-date, because it’s easier to switch devices. The disadvantage is that you spend money on the device every month, instead of all at once, but you do get a lot of freedom in return, such as financial space because you need a laptop but don’t immediately have 1000 euros on hand. On the other hand, with your own device you have no interest to pay, no payments that you can miss: you pay that (if all is well) in one go and then you’re done. You retain a little more independence without all those subscriptions. Each subscription may not sound very expensive per month, but it does add up.
Yet it also has its advantages, especially when it comes to the circle of life and staying up-to-date. It sounds like it’s not such a crazy idea at all from Amac. The older generations who find Swapfiets strange will probably also agree with this.