Case Description

Next phone-as-a-service


Switch to a new phone whenever you want


Telecom / Electronics

Service design

Circular products


Telecom operators had been offering smartphones with their contracts for a long time, but once customers signed up for a fixed contract term, they felt locked to their phone. The introduction of Vodafone next solved this customer issue – and it made sure that old phones where returned and re-used to their maximum potential.

As marketing manager for the Vodafone consumer market, Robert lead the introduction of several smartphone related service propositions.

The challenge

Customers felt “locked” onto the smartphone that they got with their two year contract. Unexpected things, like breakage, could happen. Some customers wanted to upgrade to the latest version of the iPhone whenever it entered the market. And others were fine to continue using their old phone, but wanted an option to get an upgrade when needed.
Vodafone did not have a way of getting used phones returned from the customer, while these often carried a lot of product value. They knew that very high volumes of phones were being left in drawers, ultimately contributing to the growing e-waste problem. 

Our solution

Through detailed customer research and journey mapping, we identified the crucial pain points that could be addressed in relation to smartphone ownership:

-Create flexibility to upgrade a new phone during the term of the contract
-Give me options when unexpected things happen
-Help me to return the value of the used phone

By taking these insights we designed the Vodafone Next service.

-By paying a few euro’s extra, customers were free to upgrade or change their smartphone during their contract.

-Returning the used phone was a precondition. These phones where refurbished and resold to other customer segments.

This way we recovered product value and extended the lifetime. Happy customers, recovered smartphones and a differentiating service

“Product-as-a-Service is new to many industries, but not to the telecoms industry – where smartphones have been part of the service contract since years”

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