Cell phones are becoming even more ubiquitous in Britain, where the devices can now be purchased from vending machines.
Vodafone Thursday unveiled two vending machines in Manchester where customers can purchase pre-paid phones that are fully charged and ready for immediate use.
"These will be popular with people who need a phone in an emergency, either because they have lost their phone or it has run out of battery," Vodafone told the Daily Telegraph. "They are for people who know what they want and who don't want to go through the rigmarole of talking to a sales assistant."
The newspaper said the phones cost 30 pounds ($54) and come with 1 pound ($1.78) of credit. Buyers can use cash or a debit card for the transaction and don't have to register their name and address with the company.
Vodafone U.K. hopes to see the machines become standard fare at shopping centers, airports and large public events.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Flipkart, India's reply to Amazon, sees $1 bln sales