UK MOBILE OPERATOR O2 has announced it has started a rental scheme for the Iphone 4S smartphone.
The service is called O2 Lease, which it claims is the UK's first smartphone leasing service. The system allows customers to rent specifically the Iphone 4S for a year without any upfront costs.
Sally Cowdry, marketing and consumer director at O2 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."
Although the rental scheme is piloting with just the Iphone 4S, O2 told The INQUIRER that it could expand to other handsets if it proves successful and receives good feedback.
For £55 per month users will get an Iphone 4S 16GB smartphone with 750 minutes talk time, unlimited text messages, 500MB of mobile data and insurance. Add an extra £10 per month and the handset will be a 32GB model.
In effect, the deal is a 12 month contract but you don't pay for or own the smartphone. At the end of the lease period you simply send the phone back to O2 and then you can rent the latest model.
O2 said the service is "the first tariff model available to all O2 customers that reflects the lifecycle of the smartphone industry." µ