Monday, December 15, 2008

Rentobile is like Netflix for Smartphones

We stumbled upon Rentobile this weekend. It’s a nice option for those who like to try out the latest phones but despise dealing with contracts. Similar to the Netflix business model, you can go to the Rentobile site, select which phone you want to rent and the company ships the rental phone for you to keep as long as you like. You can either pay your dues to become a member or rent as a guest. Of course, members receive the best rates. There are three membership options; one month for $9.95, three months for $19.95 ($6.65/month), or one year for $59.95 ($5/month). Insurance is available on a per-item basis, and there is a $9.95 charge for standard roundtrip shipping with each order. Rentobile carries an impressive list of phones, both new or “like new” including:

  • Apple iPhone 3G, 16GB ($34/month member, $51/month guest) 8GB ($28/month member, $42/month guest)
  • BlackBerry Bold ($24/month member, $36/month guest)
  • BlackBerry Storm ($30/month member, $45/month guest)
  • HTC Touch Pro ($24/month member, $36/month guest)
  • HTC T-Mobile G1 ($24/month member, $36/month guest)
  • Nokia N95 8GB ($28/month member, $42/month guest)
  • Nokia N96 ($36/month member, $54/month guest)
  • [click here for more phones]

So if you become a member, it’s going to cost you anywhere from $29 to $41 per month, plus your monthly data plans. The good news is since you are providing your own phone, you won’t be locked into a two-year contract. If you fancy the frequent phone swap (or the trendy practice interests you), this is a great option. Ever since catching a glimpse at Nokia’s N97 touchscreen, the anticipation has been growing as I try to justify spending $700 on a phone. Hopefully, Rentobile will solve my problems by having the N97 available to rent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be very aware: When you sign up, they ask you for your SSN! And it's NOT on a secure server. A big NO! No! in my book!