John Lewis has made its first foray into the mobile market.
The retailer is now selling SIM-free smartphone handsets on a trial basis, a move it says is in response to significant shopper demand.
It's also teamed up with Vodafone and will sell pay monthly mobile contracts in selected stores from August.
John Lewis is selling over 25 SIM-free smartphones online and in its Oxford Street branch as part of a trial, which will last until the end of the year.
The range includes the new Samsung Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z3, Motorola Moto G, HTC One M9 and Microsoft Lumia 640. However, it won't have the Apple iPhone 6 or 6 Plus until early July.
Shoppers will benefit from a two-year guarantee on any of the SIM-free handsets purchased, which will cover faults or breakdown, but not accidental damage. This is pretty decent as most manufacturers, like Apple, only offer a one-year guarantee on their products.
In addition John Lewis will extend its 'never knowingly undersold' price promise to the handsets. So if a high street competitor is offering a cheaper price for the same product, it will match it.
But this shouldn't stop you shopping around for a better deal. The Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB handset for example costs £549.95 from John Lewis, but you can get it for £449.50 - a saving of more than £100 - on Amazon.
Vodafone mobile contracts
The second phase of John Lewis's mobile trial will see the firm offering Vodafone mobile contracts in selected stores.
Shoppers will be able to choose from any of Vodafone's existing plans, including pay monthly and SIM-free deals and there will be around 40 handsets to pick from.
The handsets on the pay monthly deals will also come with the John Lewis two-year guarantee in addition to two-year accidental damage insurance at no extra cost.
Any customers signing up to a contract will also benefit from Vodafone's three month Data Test Drive, which offers unlimited data for the first three months of the contract term.
The Vodafone contracts will be available to purchase in the Cheadle branch from August and from late September/early October in the Oxford Street store.
John Lewis said it will wait and see how successful the trial is before selling the mobile contracts online and offering them in other stores.
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