Traditionally a Phones4U exclusive company, Vodafone has switched its loyalty to Dixons-owned Carphone Warehouse.
From February Vodafone’s distribution agreement with Phones4u will be terminated, meaning you won’t be able to head there for your upgrade or sign up to a new deal either in-store or from the retailer’s website.
Neither Three nor O2 are currently offered at Phones4u, so soon it’ll only sell tariffs on EE and Virgin Mobile. That said, EE looks to be pondering whether to stick with third party retailers, so could this be one of the final nails in the Phones4U coffin?
A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Earlier this year Vodafone UK said it was reviewing its distribution strategies in the UK and that it would be opening a further 150 stores and creating 1,400 new jobs.
“As part of that review, Vodafone today confirms that it will be enhancing its distribution partnership with Dixons Carphone from early next year and will not be extending its existing contract with Phones4u, which expires in February 2015. We will continue to work with a range of other indirect partners, who represent an important part of our business mix.”
Dixons Group, famous for names such as Currys and PC World, acquired Carphone Warehouse last month.
Despite the electronics superstores currently housing Phones4U branded mini-shops, these will be replaced with Dixons Carphone stands next year.
Phones4U isn’t deterred by this competition though and will concentrate on building its own phone network, LIfe Mobile, which uses the EE network. The company says that like its partner, its own mobile network will specialise in 4G service.
Phones 4u chief executive David Kassler added: “Both transactions and search traffic through our new mobile commerce site are growing rapidly as customers increasingly look to begin their purchase journey online, and they are continuing to choose to shop with Phones 4u because of the great service and value they get across all channels.
“The independent researcher, YouGov, rated Phones 4u as number one for iPhone buying experience, which is perfect preparation for the Apple announcements expected this month.”