O2 has announced a new smartphone leasing service for UK customers.
Available through O2 retail stores and over the phone, O2 Lease enables new or existing customers to lease a new smartphone for 12 months for £55 per month including insurance, 750 minutes, unlimited text messages and 500 MB of data.
There is no upfront payment and the inclusion of insurance means the customer is fully covered if they lose or damage the handset.
At the end of the lease, customers simply return the phone to O2 and take out a new lease or move to a contact or pre-pay plan.
O2 say the service is aimed at customers who want the latest smartphone every year, but either can’t afford the relatively high upfront cost of a normal 12 month contract or don’t want to be tied to a long contract.
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.”