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O2 subsidiary set to compete with its bigger brother by selling smartphones

Giff Gaff, the mobile virtual network operator that is owned by Telefonica's O2 and runs on its network, has announced that it will start to sell handsets (most certainly smartphones rather than just feature phones).

Although the mobile network (which unlike the competition is driven a lot by its own members via a very active bulletin board) has been historically against such ideas, it found out that many members who left Giff Gaff did so because they needed a new handset and getting a two-year contract elsewhere meant getting a brand new, albeit subsidized handset.

What's interesting though is that this O2-owned MVNO has decided to open up the process of selecting smartphones to its customers via a special handsets thread which will provide some invaluable feedback to Giff Gaff's management as to the challenges while putting together that project from scratch, not unlike what you'd expect from a Kickstarter outfit or from a startup.

Giff Gaff's, whose tagline is "The mobile network run by you", confirmed though that they "won't be doing handsets in quite the same way as everyone else", which means no subsidies and almost certainly handsets not seen elsewhere.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.