Devices for hire: M’sian concertgoers are renting smartphones with ultra zoom

For concertgoers who are looking to rent devices, Ayeisha said her advice is for them to do a survey on the pricing and benefits. — Unsplash

Ever wished for a better view of the stage at concerts? How about shooting videos to relive your favourite artistes’ performances afterwards?

Some entrepreneural souls in Malaysia have identified this niche market and are offering high-end smartphones with ultra-zoom capabilities for rent to concertgoers.

One such person is a 27-year-old optometrist who only wanted to be known as Fatin. On her Twitter account, Fatin has listed a Samsung S23 Ultra for rent.

“For concerts in Malaysia, I charge RM120 per day (of the concert) and a subsequent charge of RM70 for the next 12 hours.

“Outside of Malaysia, I will charge RM140 per day and RM80 for subsequent charges,” she said in an interview with LifestyleTech.

Student Ayeisha, 23, also has a Samsung S23 Ultra for rent at RM150 per day, which comes with accessories such as flash drive, adapter, casing and screen protector.

“There is demand for such a service in Malaysia as fans want to use certain phones for special occasions but are not ready to fully commit due to the high cost,” she said.

Meanwhile another entrepreneur who wanted to be known as Emma, 30, has four units – Samsung S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra models – listed for rent at RM89 per 24 hours and RM15 per hour for late returns.

“When some popular idols come here, many fans will be looking for phones to rent. Especially when Blackpink did their concert at Stadium Bukit Jalil (back in March),” she said.

“When the venue is too big, sometimes you can barely see the stage. One of my customers said they use the device to zoom and then watch the concert through the phone. It makes them feel closer to the performers,” Emma added.

Ayeisha said that fans also want to relive moments from the concert through phone recordings. Some use the clips to create fancams or stylised edits featuring their idols on stage.

“They will upload and share these videos to social media, giving other fans a chance to experience the concert as well even though they didn’t get to see it live,” Ayeisha said.

Preventing theft and fraud

Renting out expensive phones that start from around RM5,000 sounds like risky business, so all the phone owners say they take extra measures to protect their assets.

“I have a GPS app installed into the phone that is linked to the device that I’m currently using. I will also take a photo of the customers’ IC, passport or driving license,” said Fatin.

Meanwhile Emma vets rental requests by going through the prospective customers’ social media accounts.

“I see how they use their accounts and look for signs for suspicious activity. Then for pick ups, I will strictly ask to meet the customer face-to-face and ask them to provide documents like a copy of their IC or passport.

“They also need to sign an agreement and I will take their photos,” she said.

As for Ayeisha, she said her customers are also required to pay a security deposit and that her devices will only be rented out to Malaysians aged 18 and above.

In demand

Emma, who started her rental business in February, said her devices are now booked until September.

“I’ve also received requests from fans who are interested in booking the devices for Coldplay’s KL concert in November,” she said.

Ayeisha said she has been overwhelmed by requests since starting her business in March. She added that this month, some customers will travel with her device to Bangkok and Singapore.

At the time of writing, Fatin listed a number of bookings for June and September.

For concertgoers who are looking to rent devices, Ayeisha said her advice is for them to do a survey on the pricing and benefits available.

“It can be expensive without any extra perks for the renter. For example, if you just rent the phone without any flash drive then you won’t be able to easily transfer the photos or videos to your own device,” she said.

Emma recalled how her own experience seeing BTS at a concert in Busan, South Korea made her realise the importance of getting a device with a better camera.

“I had a good spot, you could say that I was close to the stage. But my phone at the time did not have a good camera quality so my fancam ended up being unsatisfactory. I regretted not getting a new phone before the concert,” she said.

Emma said fans who have fought hard for their concert tickets should make the most out of their experience with devices that could help them take high-quality photos or videos.

“When you have a good fancam, you treasure it forever,” she added.

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Smartphone , Social Media , Internet


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