UK MOBILE OPERATOR EE introduced an incentive called "Swap" on Tuesday, which lets customers pay a one-time fee to upgrade to a 4G smartphone.
Taking tips from O2's Refresh price plans, EE Swap lets customers on Orange, T-Mobile or an EE tariff with eligible devices upgrade their phone as early as six months into their 18 or 24-month contract. The scheme will require customers to return their existing device and start another 24-month 4GEE plan.
EE's pricing isn't very appealing, either. To upgrade to a 4GEE plan with a limited 1.5GB of monthly data, users will have to hand over their smartphone as well as a £249 upfront fee. This initial cost declines depending on the price of the contract, with EE's £41, £46 and £41 4G tariffs asking for £199, £129 and £49 upfront, respectively.
EE said that its Swap service will go live on 17 September, which we assume is timed to coincide with the launch of the new iPhone(s).
EE chief consumer marketing officer Pippa Dunn said, "With smartphone innovation moving at a relentless pace, we realise that some customers want to move to the latest handset at the earliest possible opportunity.
That's why we've introduced 'Swap' to sit alongside our existing upgrade offers - providing a new, simple and easily affordable option for pay monthly customers to move to the latest 4G smartphones."
Just yesterday EE announced that it had hit one million 4G customers four months ahead of its goal of reaching the landmark figure by the end of the year. We're not sure that the terms of the firm's new Swap incentive is going to help it grow that number, especially as the operator finally faces some 4G competition in the form of rivals O2 and Vodafone. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ