Let’s be brutally honest shall we? The flashy smartphones we write about daily are expensive. If you want to buy one without a contract then you’ll need around £500 for a top-end handset. Most of us find that fighting to get a Nexus 4 (which is considerably cheaper) or signing up to a lengthy contract is a better solution.
Vodafone have added another option today, with the launch of something called “Nearly New”. They’ll be selling pre-owned smartphones with a full 12-month warranty on Pay As You Go and with a 24-month warranty to Pay Monthly customers. It kicks off today in selected stores and online next week.
With the rather severe financial climate forcing people to cut-back, Vodafone will be offering these handsets on cheap monthly plans or Pay As You Go tariffs. These are handsets that have been sent to Vodafone by their own customers and are in very good condition. They have been fully checked, wiped and re-boxed before getting re-sold. It’s a bit like buying a re-conditioned device, but here you get a full warranty and none of the potential eBay problems.
Stock will alter depending on what handsets are available, but currently they’re offering the iPhone4 and iPhone 3GS (not the 4S or 5) to Pay As You Go customers. A “nearly new” 8GB iPhone 4 will cost £250 whilst Pay Monthly customers have the choice of the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X on cheaper contracts. The “nearly new” SIII is free at £33/month with unlimited calls and texts.
More below, but it seems to us like a pretty decent idea.
Vodafone launches ‘Nearly New’ –get a top phone for less
Vodafone has launched ‘Nearly New’, offering pre-owned smartphones at a discount for pay as you go (PAYG) and pay monthly (PAYM) customers. It makes it more affordable for customers to get their hands on a smartphone, helping to increase take-up of the mobile internet among the mass-market (rather than being aimed at early adopters or people who already have a smartphone). We’re particularly targeting pay as you go users who have yet to make the leap to a smartphone (smartphone take-up among new pay monthly customers is over 90% already).
Crucially, all pay as you go ‘Nearly New’ handsets come with a 12 month warranty and all pay monthly ‘Nearly New’ handsets have a 24 month warranty. It’s worth noting that currently the majority of pre-owned smartphones that are used in the UK have been bought from eBay.
For PAYG customers it means they can get a smartphone at a reduced up-front cost (saving up to £155) and for pay monthly customers it means they can get a smartphone on a cheaper monthly price plan.
Nearly New is available for PAYG across all our stores now and will be launched online next week. It’s available in selected stores for pay monthly customers and also online.
Due to variations in the returned handsets that we get, both PAYG and PAYM handset ranges will vary on a monthly basis, but here are the current deals:
· PAYG: The iPhone4 and iPhone 3GS are included in the Nearly New plan (the iPhone 4s and 5 are not) for Pay as you go customers. For instance a PAYG user can get a nearly new 8GB iPhone 4 for £250 (vs the brand new price of £405 on our website).
· PAYM: For Pay Monthly customers we’re currently offering the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X on cheaper contracts (The Samsung Galaxy SIII is free at £33/month with unlimited calls and texts vs free at £37/month with unlimited calls and texts, for a brand new one).
So what is a nearly new phone? These are phones that have been returned in very good condition by Vodafone customers. All phones go through a strict series of checks and processes (including a full security wipe) before being placed on the scheme and are re-boxed with all the right accessories.
From a Vodafone UK spokesperson:
“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 and start using the mobile internet. It is part of our ambition to get the internet into the hands of our customers. It follows the changes we have already made to the way we sell new devices –such as refurbishing our shops to focus on service and introducing our Tech Team of in-store, online and call centre technical support staff –to ensure that we help our customers get the most out of their new gadget.”