O2 says new service will offer small businesses new technology without associated costs
Mobile operator O2 has announced what it claims is the UK’s first ever smartphone leasing programme.
O2 Lease will target small and medium businesses (SMEs), who want the latest technology, but cannot afford the relatively high up-front cost of a normal contract or don’t want to commit to a lengthy plan.
Certainty and Predictability
Businesses will be able to lease the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions of the iPhone 4S for one year with plans starting from £45 per month, including insurance and 500MB of data.
O2 says that the plan offers freedom from expensive contract, insurance and data costs and provides a degree of certainty and predictable expenditure. At the end of the lease, customers either extend the contract or return the phone.
“We know that small businesses are used to leasing items from cars to photocopiers and office space. They understand how it works and what the advantages of leasing are,” commented Ben Dowd, director for O2 Business at O2 UK. “We have simply taken this idea and applied it to the smartphone market.”
O2 first offered the iPhone 4 last year, when it offered the latest edition of Apple’s smartphone as an upgrade to customers, and also began offering SIM only tariffs in an effort to persuade customers to stay with the network when their contract expired.
However the rise of smartphones has caused a strain on its network and in June last year, it scrapped its unlimited data plans due to overwhelming demand from data hungry devices. The company was more willing to allow tethering though, and included the service for free as part of its pay monthly tariffs when the feature was made available to iPhone users as part of iOS 4.3.