Network operator O2 is trying to sell off as many iPhone handsets as possible before the launch of an updated iPhone in the summer, giving away handsets for free on contracts below £35, the Observer reports.
In addition to the release of a new iPhone, rumours are circulating that O2′s lucrative agreement with Apple as the exclusive supplier of iPhone’s in the UK could be coming to an end this year.
Before this exclusive deal ends, O2 is using the popular handset to win as many new customers as possible.
To boost iPhone sales, O2 has diverted most of its advertising budget to plugging the iPhone, as well as redirecting the majority of its handset subsidies so it can offer the iPhone for free.
New customers can now get hold of a free 8GB iPhone on contracts below £35 per month.
The 16GB iPhone is being offered free on contracts from £44.05 as month, compared to the £75 a month minimum when the handset was first released.
Meanwhile, O2′s existing customers at contract renewal stage are being offered a free iPhone if they continue on their tariff for 18 months.
The new iPhone will be unveiled in June, yet 17 million customers around the world have already pre-ordered the handset.
Apple’s exclusive deal with US network operator AT&T ended last week after two years of co-operation.