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New rental market introduced ahead of release of high-end smartphones in Korea Updated: 2018-10-26 12:53:17 KST

The new iphone 512GB XS Max will cost more than 1,700 U.S. dollars to buy in Korea.
As smartphone models become more and more expensive,… Korean telecommunication companies have created service options where customers borrow rather than buy their smartphones.

SK Telecom, the country's largest mobile operator by number of subscribers, already began its rental service program back in June,… and KT introduced a similar service on Wednesday to prepare for the launch of the new iphone.

If customers decide to use the rental service,… they will have slightly lower monthly payments than if they purchased the phone outright. Customers using SK Telecom's service could save up to 330 U.S. dollars compared to the cost of buying the most expensive iphone, while KT's customers could save 530 dollars. Customers can also purchase the rental phone at a later date.

Similar smartphone rental programs are appearing around the world, and are already running in the United States and Australia.
Telecom firm T-mobile launched their rental program in the U.S. back in 2015, and it is already used by 20 percent of their subscribers.

As rental services make it easier for customers to get their hands on the latest smartphones as soon as they hit the market, the service is likely to be particularly appealing to early adopters eager to have top-of-the-range models.

Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.
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