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Panasonic lifts lid on growing hardware as a Service demand

The hardware player has been doing its own research to see the extent of the appetite for acquiring mobile devices on a subscription model

The idea of hardware as a service is growing in its appeal to customers keen to use it as a model for spreading the cost of their mobile devices.

Desktop as a Service has been one of the big themes for Dion Weisler over at HP over the last 18 months and research from Panasonic indicates that an increasing number of customers have heard about the option and want to use it for laptops, tablets and handhelds.

The firm found that 76% of technology buyers were keen to buy hardware on a subscription basis, with cost their key consideration at the moment.

The Mobile Computing as a Service report found that the attraction of the flexible approach was the chance to avoid large one-off fees and the option to avoid getting stuck in a position years down the line sweating assets that should have been upgraded.

When Panasonic drilled down into what customers were looking for it provided quite a shopping list with a three year warranty, zero percent interest payment plans and the devices delivered straight to the workplace.

Some of the extras that might also be looked at included insurance, accidental damage warranties and a trade-in programme.

Panasonic has already launched its Touchbook as a Service option to try and help customers spread payments on a monthly basis. The scheme has been powered by digital services player Econocom.

“With the rapid advances in design and functionality of mobile devices and the resulting productivity gains for mobile workforces, businesses are keen to keep up to date with the latest developments,” said Kevin Jones, managing director for the Panasonic Mobile Solution Business in Europe.

“This is resulting in an expensive capital expenditure every two-three years. But buyers are telling us that they would much rather move to a new subscription-based model, similar to the growing popularity of software as a service,” he added.

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