Why buy the latest smartphone when you can lease it?

TMNG Global , a consulting and strategy firm that works with all the major carriers, is introducing the first mobile device leasing program in the U.S., which will allow operators to offer no money down one-year leases for handsets to their best customers.

Today in Mobile

Lynette Luna over at Fierce Wireless takes a second look at the N97, Nokia’s latest flagship device that should compete well against the iPhone, Palm Pre and BlackBerry devices. But while those other gadgets all enjoy carrier subsidies in the U.S., the N97 rocks a ridiculous $700 price tag and no operator partner. Nokia continues to dominate in emerging markets, as we’ve noted before, but the Finnish company will have to soften its stance with its new mobile Internet services and play nice with carriers if it hopes to compete in the smartphone space stateside.