No. 3 carrier aims to expand smartphone subsidies

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No. 3 carrier aims to expand smartphone subsidies



LG U+, the nation’s No. 3 mobile carrier, said yesterday it is expanding the amount of subsidies on its smartphones, just like its competitors SK Telecom and KT.

KT, the second-largest mobile carrier, was the first to boost its smartphone subsidies on Wednesday, and SK Telecom, the No. 1 mobile carrier, followed suit on Thursday.

LG U+ said it is increasing its subsidies on Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 4 from 110,000 won to 210,000 won (about $104 to $200) based on a two-year contract that will cost 89,900 won per month on its LTE8 Unlimited 89.9 Monthly Plan.

Besides the Galaxy Note 4, LG U+ is also raising its subsidy amounts on five smartphone models, including Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S5 Broadband LTE-A and Galaxy Alpha, and LG Electronics’ G3 and G3 Cat 6. These subsidies will amount to between 50,000 won to 100,000 won.

LG U+ is also providing a subsidy of 250,000 won on LG Electronics’ G3 Screen, which was launched exclusively on the mobile carrier for 803,000 won yesterday.

The mobile carrier additionally debuted Zero Club, a promotion where consumers can purchase the latest smartphones at the lowest prices by receiving discounts on the condition that they return the new phone after 18 months.

For example, if an iPhone 5 user still has 200,000 won of installment payments remaining, he or she can purchase the iPhone 6 with a 200,000 won discount from LG U+ by returning the iPhone 5 to the carrier.

“Those who wish to purchase the iPhone 6 but are still paying off the installment for the existing phone, can purchase it at the lowest cost at LG U+ as we give that much discount in the price,” said a spokesman for LG U+.

“Also, we priced the iPhone 6 at around 700,000 won, much lower than the expected price, with additional discounts provided on the condition of returning it after 18 months.”

The network also introduced U Club, which gives discounts to existing customers who want to purchase a new phone, exempting them from having to pay cancellation fees and remaining installments if they have completed 12 months or more of their contract.

In addition, when existing LG U+ customers recommend the company to family members or friends during the promotion period, the carrier will provide a 30,000 won discount on monthly plans to each party.


BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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