O2 introduces smartphone leasing

Pricing is out of whack, though, making it less than tempting for consumers
Darren Allan

December 13, 2011

Smartphones are an expensive business, particularly if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest flagship models.

And to that end, O2 has introduced a scheme where much like leasing a car rather than laying out the dosh for an expensive new one, you can rent a handset.

The main selling point of the O2 Lease program being that a rental contract lasts for a year, instead of the usual smartphone purchasing tariff which ties the buyer in for two years.

Given the rate at which smartphones get replaced by a newer model these days, the theory is folks will be able to keep pace with upgrades more economically with a lease.

Is there a downside? Well, yes, and that’s that O2 appears to have pitched the monthly rental price at a less than wallet friendly level, defeating the object of the scheme in our eyes anyway.

Your 16GB smartphone contract will cost £55 per month along with 750 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.

At the moment, the iPhone 4S is in fact the only option, but that choice is set to expand no doubt to include the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and others.

Another downside is potential damage to the phone. O2 notes: “Customers will need to take good care of the device to avoid unnecessary charges at the end of the lease, so O2 recommends customers protect the device with a carry case.”

Overall, it doesn’t seem like a good deal at all and considering the outlay, the plan isn’t very generous either. You’d be much better off buying an iPhone on a monthly payment plan direct from the Apple store, and then selling it on after owning it for a year.


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