Optus increases smartphone prices

Optus has quietly raised prices on Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones purchased by new customers on a 12- or 24-month contract, according to new figures from Goldman Sachs.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, the subsidy cut has been rolled out by the carrier over the past couple of weeks.

The increases see customers on a $50-per-month plan now pay $696 over the life of their contract for a 32-gigabyte iPhone – an increase of $200 over the carrier’s April 2010 prices.

“Optus has cut handset subsidies across its post-paid mobile plans [and] raised handset pricing in the past week,” Goldman Sachs research analyst Raymond Tong told clients.

“While Optus has stated its desire to stabilise/increase its market share, these moves are consistent with its goal of driving profitable growth. Optus handset subsidy cuts follow similar moves by Vodafone in February-March.”

The report specifically looked at subsidies on the Apple iPhone 5S, introduced in September of last year, as well as the recently introduced Galaxy S5.

An Optus spokesperson told SmartCompany the move was in line with the carrier’s long-term pricing policy.

“This is consistent with Optus’ strategy put in place 18 month ago to remain competitive in the market and transform our business for profitable growth. As part to this strategy we’ve reviewed our cost base, including reducing handset subsidies.”


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