John Lewis starts selling smartphones

Upmarket retailer John Lewis has added a new product category to its electricals section today, as it starts selling smartphones for the first time. A curated selection of top handsets from the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, Motorola and Microsoft are available online right now, all unlocked. SIM-free iPhones will be added to the roster in early July, when they'll also begin to be stocked at John Lewis' flagship Oxford Street store. Soon, John Lewis will be in the position to offer you a mobile contract, too, under a partnership with Vodafone.

Dedicated spaces where customers can gaze at handsets and talk to Vodafone staff about tariffs will pop up in John Lewis' Cheadle store in mid-August, and its Oxford Street branch in autumn. It's the beginnings of the retailer's "new mobile strategy," and at a quick glance, its SIM-free phone prices are on par with some of the most competitive online stores. The best thing about buying tech from John Lewis is the extended warranties the retailer typically offers, and thankfully it's no different here. Any handset purchased online or in-store will include a two-year guarantee as standard, and anyone signing up for a Vodafone contract will receive two years of free accidental damage insurance to boot.