It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.

If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device. For those concerned, stores do check to ensure the mobiles still work, wipe any data or settings, and package them up with any requisite accessories. However, if you want to get a handset with a contract, you can opt to buy a device that's seen some mileage and get a slightly reduced monthly rate.

To demonstrate the savings, Vodafone offers the example of a Galaxy S III: buy one new and you'll pay £37 per month. Acquire a lightly used unit, however, and your bill drops to £33 a month. Not bad. A savings of about £48/year (roughly $78).

What do you think, UK customers? Good deal, or just a ploy to offload some used phones?

Via UK Mobile Review

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.”