O2 has introduced what it claims is the first smartphone leasing service in the UK. It’s called O2 Lease and will enable new or existing customers to lease a new smartphone for one year.
O2 Lease is available directly from O2, either via stores or over the phone, and costs £55 per month for a 16GB iPhone 4S including insurance, 750 minutes of calls per month, unlimited text messages and 500 MB of data. There’s no up-front charge. At the end of the 12-month period, customers can return the phone to O2 and start a new lease with a new phone – or they can simply move on.
The company describes it as “the first tariff model available to all O2 customers that reflects the lifecycle of the smartphone industry”.
Sally Cowdry, marketing and consumer director for O2 UK, said “This is the first time a UK mobile operator has adopted a leasing model. We know that customers and small businesses are used to leasing everyday items from cars and washing machines to photocopiers and office space. They understand how it works and what the advantages of a leasing are. We have simply taken this idea and applied it to the smartphone market. Innovation is not just about product, it is also about service, providing new ways for people to buy. We want to ensure that customers can pick and use the right option for them.”