Vodacom South Africa has launched ‘Good As New’ – a selection of pre-loved iPhones that won’t cost an arm and a leg. If you’re someone who avoids the latest and greatest in phones because of the price, then no more.
A ‘Good As New’ phone comes standard with a 12-month warranty, covering all internal repairs, software reloads, and setting updates. And most importantly, battery protection. Vodacom wants ‘Good as New’ customers to not worry about the device any more than they would a regular phone.
“The introduction of ‘Good As New’ forms part of our continued efforts to democratise access and create a digital ecosystem that enables a connected society, which is aligned to our purpose of connecting everyone for a better future. Part of Vodacom’s commitment to preserving the environment includes finding innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle devices to lessen the environmental impact that comes with the growth of the business,” said Jorge Mendes, CEO of Vodacom Consumer Business.
Good As New
From Vodacom’s perspective, the initiative makes a lot of sense. Before its introduction, Vodacom would sell only to customers who could afford full-price, brand-new phones. Now, Vodacom won’t be losing those customers. They’ll just be meeting new ones, who previously were able to afford the latest iPhone.
In Vodacom’s mind, there’s nothing to lose. And it isn’t wrong. Putting iPhones in more hands could break down cost barriers for the future. It’s also helping reduce the amount of e-waste in the country.
The launch of ‘Good As New’ not only involves second-hand iPhones. Vodacom set themselves a goal for the initiative too. The goal is to refurbish and repurpose 200,000 devices by 2025. Quite a number, Vodacom, but one that it should have no trouble reaching. The only way this could go wrong is if Vodacom doesn’t follow through on its 12-month warranty deal.
And this initiative couldn’t have come at a better time for South Africa. On average, South Africans generate 6.2kg of e-waste each, per year. 6.2kg doesn’t sound like a lot. But, when you account for the fact that South Africa is close to 60 million people, population-wise, those numbers begin to look scarier.
One of the biggest reasons for this level of e-waste is the idea that people frequently need to upgrade their phones. This culture has grown massively over the last decade and is only getting worse. People with no use for older devices tend to bin them. Oftentimes, the old device is damaged, and it becomes harder to sell the thing. This leaves owners not caring about where it ends up.
This leaves the only other alternative, which is what Vodacom has taken an interest in. Devices can reach their real lifespan, with Vodacom following that up by recycling the unsellable devices.
Vodacom hasn’t offered any information about what will incentivise people to bring in older devices to get the ‘Good As New’ treatment. Vodacom will likely offer some sort of trade-in deal when someone decides to upgrade to a newer phone. In the meantime, the program is up and running already.
Go take a look at Vodacom’s ‘Good As New’ devices to see if anything catches your eye. There aren’t many choices to pick from yet. If you think we’re kidding, take a look for yourself. There are only four iPhones on the list right now. We expect the collection to be more extensive in a couple of weeks.