The new and next Freebox is a real Arlesian. We have heard about it for years now, but no one has seen its color. Xavier Niel, the boss of Free, is however well aware that with an increasingly competitive fixed market, his company can now no longer take out a new box.
If Free proves particularly fit on the mobile sector, this is no longer the case with regard to the fixed. In the first six months of the year, Free managed to attract only 83,000 new customers. It is little, very little compared to previous years and above all it has a significant impact on its income and therefore its profitability.
To recruit again, Free has many choices. Either it must be aggressive commercially – which it does regularly with offers offered by Private Sales – or it must issue a new box capable of attracting users in search of novelties. And that, Xavier Niel is well aware. He is also well aware that Free has taken too much delay on his new box. Reuters reports thus remarks that the boss of Iliad would have held to analysts:
"There is a moment when we can no longer delay it"
Obviously when we find ourselves in situations like this with a big aggressiveness, it is the quality of our boxes on the fixed that makes us recruit. So yes it will be necessary at one time to have a new box.
And to add:
We tried to delay this but there is a time when we can no longer delay it. So we will come back with a new box, and go to recreate the buzz and redo the growth.
From this box, we do not know much for the moment. But Xavier Niel has already begun to draw his silhouette:
It will show a box that will be very high-end, very advanced, very disruptive, that corresponds nothing to the market (…) with a certain number of ideas which, on a world market, will be extremely disruptive.
Practically 7 years without new Freebox
It must be said that Free has not released a new box for two years now. And the latest box is the Freebox Mini 4K, an entry-level box launched in 2015, which was intended to replace the Freebox Crystal, launched in 2013. The latest "real" box high-end Free is actually the Freebox Revolution … which was launched 7 years ago!
We do not know yet when Free will announce this new Freebox. According to Maxime Lombardini (reported by 01.net), the director general of Iliad, Free would already have " quite advanced " on the subject and " is actively working on this new box ] ". An exit for the beginning of next year would therefore be quite possible.