Asda is making a play for the SIM-free handset market with the launch of a new expanded consumer website offering up to 72 handset models from all top vendors.
The new online store, asda-phones.co.uk, went live June 22, selling a range of SIM-free phones from the budget Motorola W156 up to the £825 Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte.
Other devices on sale at launch include the Sony Ericsson C905 for £333, LG Renoir for £275, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic for £240 and Samsung Tocco for £235. Previously Asda only sold six SIM-free handsets, all low-end Nokia devices.
The website also enables customers to buy an Asda prepay SIM pack for 47p, offering rates of 8p per minute, 4p per text and 20p per MB of web browsing.
Asda will use internal marketing to promote the website and will add a link to its main mobile website, which receives around two million visitors each week.
Asda Mobile buying manager Craig Thirkell said: “A lot of customers said there were never enough SIM-free handsets on sale. The launch of this new website solves that.
“We’ll be competing against the likes of Amazon, Play.com and eXpansys so the competition is fierce. However our pricing is very competitive and some of the handsets we’re selling are up to £40 cheaper than our rivals’, so it bodes well for how successful this website could be.”