THE RISE OF PRE-LOVED PHONES
LOCAL SMART-DEVICE REPAIR SPECIALISTS WEFIX HAVE RE-LAUNCHED THEIR I2 RANGE OF REFURBISHED IPHONES, ENABLING CONSUMERS TO ENJOY ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR MOBILE DEVICES WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK.
There are currently three devices in the range, from the i2 iPhone 5S 32 GB to the i2 iPhone 6 64 GB model, each packaged with earphones and a screen protector. In line with the weFix philosophy of “repair rather than replace”, a one-year protection plan from insurance partner Click2Sure is an optional addition to each package, meaning that devices are insured from the moment consumers leave the store.
“Pre-loved devices are the perfect solution for those who want a quality phone at a lower price than buying new, or for those who are conscious about the environment,” explains Grant Webster, COO of weFix.
At the intersection between affordability and environmental consciousness lies a growing trend for refurbished or reconditioned devices and technology, a relatively new market in South Africa. While consumers may have the desire to buy devices new, the affordability of a refurbished or reconditioned unit makes it a highly attractive alternative.
This is in addition to the fact that of the world’s staggering 50 million tons of electronic waste – mostly computers and smartphones – generated this year, most will find its way to African and Asian countries, which are being adopted as global landfills. Each year, South Africa generates about 300,000 tonnes of electronic waste, which amounts to about 5.7 kg per citizen. We’re the second-highest generator of e-waste in Africa.
Electronic waste contains toxic substances that can pollute the environment and endanger life. The negative impact of extraction of the natural resources required to manufacture electronic devices is twofold. Not only is the continuous mining of these minerals threatening the natural habitat of wildlife, control over mining has also created conflict among human communities.
Grant says that South Africans are increasingly calling for refurbished or reconditioned products that exist within a new “circular economy” that rejects the “take, make and dispose” industrial model. In the last few years, local companies such as Vodacom, DStv, and weFix are offering refurb or repair products that are affordable and take the environment into consideration.
He points out that some consumers upgrade their smartphones every 18 to 24 months as their voice and data contracts expire, begging the question: What happens to the old devices?
Mobile devices may be refurbished for a number of reasons. Most are “pre-loved” or second hand, but others are damaged during shipment, demo units that have been shop-soiled, or new devices that have a fault upon opening. weFix replaces damaged parts with new parts, bringing an otherwise intact unit back to life.
“When purchasing an i2 device, consumers have peace of mind knowing that they have a genuine high-end smartphone restored to full working condition and appearance by credible technicians, who offer a one-year warranty on their work,” says Grant.
For more information, visit wefix.co.za.