Carphone anticipates prepay ‘comeback’


Fall in smartphone prices will help prepay market according to firm’s new retail director

Carphone Warehouse has said it expects prepay sales to make a comeback after a year in which hundreds of thousands of customers have disconnected.

The comments came from new Carphone Warehouse UK retail director Sam Tyrer, who was giving her first interview since taking over from Anthony Hemmerdinger in August.

She claimed the cost of feature-rich smartphones, coupled with the removal of subsidies, has seen customers forced on to contracts.

But with smartphone costs declining and features now “trickling” down from the high end to the mid and lower ends, Tyrer said she expects a prepay sales revival.

She said: “Since the removal of subsidies there has been a big decline in prepay – almost overnight.

“But we are now beginning to see the top-tier features trickle down, making them more accessible to all ends of the market. We have already had the first sub-£100 Windows and Android devices in the market  and as more of those come through you will see prepay make a comeback.

“Sixty per cent of the market have yet to own a smartphone, so that’s definitely our biggest opportunity. We’re expecting prepay to be a big success over Christmas and that trend to continue into 2013.”