Vodafone Spain has announced that its Vodafone Care smartphone repair service has been extended to tablets and smartwatches that connect to its network via a physical SIM card or an eSIM. The service offers two different types of coverage – accidental damage and total protection – for a monthly fee that rises depending on the value of the insured device.
The accidental damage policy covers breakage, liquid damage and other types of accidental damage to smartphones, watches and tablets at prices starting at EUR 2.50 (US $2.42) a month, while the total protection policy also covers theft of the device at prices starting at EUR 4.00 (US $3.88) a month. The service is also included as one of the perks of the company’s Vodafone Flex financing program.
This initiative is another example of a mobile operator working to expand its recurring revenue base beyond the traditional service offerings. While carriers have long offered insurance programs for smartphones, there are a few elements of Vodafone’s offer which are noteworthy.
First, it expands beyond just smartphones to include smartwatches and tablets. While these are much less popular than phones, they still represent a significant investment from consumers, which many will want to protect with insurance.
Second, instead of just delivering insurance for the device, this offer includes repairs. Rather than fighting the increase in device lifecycles, this move leans into the trend, and offers consumers the opportunity to repair the wear and tear that accumulates on electronics over several years of use.
Third, by bundling this service in with Vodafone Flex, which allows consumers to finance the purchases of these devices, the operator is creating a differentiated offer that can help win new customers and retain existing users. In finding compelling add-ons, many providers have looked far beyond the mobile service to streaming partnerships, coupon schemes, and other offerings. By offering bundled device insurance and repairs, Vodafone may achieve many of these same benefits.
With almost all markets saturated in terms of smartphone penetration, it tracks that most operators would look to find new revenue sources outside of mobile service. This new program appears a compelling way to achieve this. That said, it should be clear that these initiatives are only potential add-ons to traditional revenue streams, not replacements for them. Since its launch this past April, the operator reports that Vodafone Care has garnered 140,000 customers. While not insignificant, it is still a limited portion of Vodafone’s total customer base in Spain.