Vodafone offers used smartphones in UK

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Vodafone REUTERS Picture: Reuters

For the first time, Vodafone Group is offering its British customers discounts on used smartphones in a push to raise sales of data and stem service revenue declines.

The “Nearly New” plan provides savings – of up to £155 (R2 135) off the £405 price for an iPhone 4 – for pay-as-you-go users, as well as cheaper plans for monthly subscribers, who already get lower handset prices.

The plan includes Samsung and HTC devices that customers have returned for resale.

The world’s second-largest cellular provider is targeting higher data consumption as Britain’s weak economy drives declines in call revenue.

“Nearly New is designed to make it even more affordable for people, especially those who prefer pay-as-you-go services, to get their hands on a smartphone,” Vodafone said yesterday. “It is part of our ambition to get the internet into the hands of our customers.”

The phones went on sale in stores on Wednesday and will be available online next week.

Devices will vary monthly based on what customers return. Samsung’s Galaxy SIII and HTC’s One X are available for contract customers this month, while Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS are available for pay-as-you-go users.

The handsets come with warranties of 12 months for customers without a contract and 24 months for monthly subscribers.

Vodafone has also been working to cut costs in the UK. In June last year, the firm and Telefonica’s UK unit said they would share network infrastructure to improve coverage and cut the cost of expansion.

It has similar agreements in Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Australia. – Amy Thomson from Bloomberg in London

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