10/29/2008 11:46:00 AM
£30 phones are being sold by major brands
More phones in the ultra cheap sub-£30 category have started hitting shops and are being heavily promoted in newspaper adverts.
Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Woolworths, Asda and WHSmith have either already unveiled cheap pay-as-you-go handset deals, or are planning to do so.
Handsets from the major brands below £30 have been aggressively targeted by box breakers, with operators so concerned that they have said it is not worth subsidising Nokia handsets in this category.
One retailer said: ‘Operators end up caving in to subsidies on cheap Nokia phones because they are a sure-fire way of getting their numbers before the end
of the year.’
Nokia’s array of rudimentary handsets between £10 and £30 bombard the market at this time of year, but Samsung and Sony Ericsson have stepped up efforts this year with their own budget handsets.
One senior operator chief said: ‘There is more subsidy now than ever before. We are expecting a lot of customers to trade down from contracts to prepay in light of the credit crunch.’