It’s being reported today that starting tomorrow consumers will have an option to borrow new high-end smartphones with slightly lower monthly payments instead of buying one.
SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile operator by number of subscribers, said Thursday it will start renting out three latest smartphone series models – iPhone X, iPhone 8 and Galaxy — with lower monthly rental fees than installment payments for purchasing a new premium phone among the models.
Branded ‘T Rental,’ the new program offers a rental fee for a 64-GB iPhone X for US$44.25 (47,746 won), which is US$11.60 (12,500 won) cheaper than a purchasing plan contract.
No additional fee is required to subscribe to the T Rental service, while the contract is fixed at 24 months.
Borrowers can later decide to own the rental phones, if they pay the rental fees in lump sum.
SKT will run the rental program as the first among Korean mobile carriers in partnership with asset management firm Macquarie.
Another Korean mobile carrier KT is also preparing to introduce a similar rental service, according to company officials, although they could not comment on the timing yet.
Smartphone rentals are becoming a global trend. Similar programs are already being run by T Mobile in the United States and Telstra in Australia.
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