New site offers chance to rent iPhone

Enterprising iPhone owners are using a new UK online rental marketplace to cover the cost of their new gadget.

The erento site will let people try before they buy - or just rent to impress - Apple's latest and most fashionable gadget. The service could prove popular as pricing is seen as a major barrier to owning an iPhone.

A recent survey carried out by market researcher GfK NOP found that over a quarter of the 500 consumers it questioned would like to buy an iPhone, but almost three-quarters said that they would not be doing so because of its high price.

But with erento, an iPhone can be rented for 29 per day or 99 per week.

Steve Morrison, an iPhone owner and erento supplier, said: "Having coughed up quite a lot of money for this beautiful gadget, I heard about this new online rental site and figured that I could make my money back in a just a few weeks."

"It is perfect for someone looking to impress at a party and is a really effective way of trying before buying," he added.

erento was first established four years ago in Germany and is now riding the wave of iPhone hysteria with its UK launch. The German site now has over a million items available to rent including 600 Ferraris, 2,500 motor homes, more than 1,000 bouncy castles and an ice skating rink. And the UK site already features a diverse variety of items for rent, from an E Type Jaguar to a rodeo simulator, as well as iPhones.

The site itself provides localised search and marketing capabilities to users, as well as the e-commerce functionality necessary to make and process payments for rental items.

Rental suppliers upload their items with an image, item description and price for the rental period. Hirers can then search for rental items according to price or location, specifying their desired hiring period and providing their contact details.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.