Vodafone to offer smartphones on 12-month contracts

Pocket-lint has been told by Vodafone that the network provider is soon to introduce 12-month contracts for all of its offered smartphones, including the iPhone, UK-wide. That means that you'll be able to get hold of an iPhone 4 or, later in the year, the new iPhone 5 on a yearly contract, allowing for more flexibility.

Naturally, larger handset contributions will be required, but at least you will be able to upgrade year-on-year without heavy penalties.

We also understand that this will apply to the enormous swathe of new smartphone handsets, from manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson, that will be announced during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. We're currently not sure whether Vodafone will be taking on the recently announced HP Pre3 or Veer.

The company has also told us that a whole set of price plans that appeared last night on Coolsmartphone.com are "pretty accurate". However, that site has now taken down its original posting, but not before we managed to take a look. So, with its current line-up of smartphones that'll be...

BlackBerry 9700, BlackBerry 9780, Nokia N8, Samsung Galaxy S
£35 a month - handset cost £159
£40 a month - handset cost £119
£45 a month - handset cost £79
£50 a month - handset cost £39

BlackBerry Torch, HTC Desire HD
£35 a month - handset cost £179
£40 a month - handset cost £139
£45 a month - handset cost £99
£50 a month - handset cost £59

iPhone 3GS 8GB
£35 a month - handset cost £199
£40 a month - handset cost £139
£45 a month - handset cost £89
£50 a month - handset cost £29

iPhone 4 16GB
£35 a month - handset cost £299
£40 a month - handset cost £239
£45 a month - handset cost £189
£50 a month - handset cost £99

iPhone 4 32GB
£35 a month - handset cost £399
£40 a month - handset cost £339
£45 a month - handset cost £289
£50 a month - handset cost £189

Of course, these may change before the official announcement, and there are all the new devices to take into account, but it's a welcome step for those who don't want to be tied down long term.

What do you think? Do you welcome back 12-month contracts? Or are the initial lay-outs too much to contemplate? Let us know in the comments below...