UK-headquartered cellular network giant Vodafone has launched a self-branded smartphone running Google’s Android 2.2 operating system that costs less than US$130.
The Vodafone Smart is preloaded with Android apps such as Gmail, Google Maps and Google Talk and will offer full access to the Android Market. It has a 2-megapixel camera, 2,8-inch touch screen, 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.
Vodafone says the product will be launched in all its markets in the next few months and is aimed mainly at prepaid customers.
Germany and Italy will be the first countries to receive the device.
Vodafone group terminals director Patrick Chomet says smartphones account for more than 40% of the handsets Vodafone sells in Europe.
At Vodacom’s annual results presentation in Midrand on Monday, CEO Pieter Uys alluded to cheaper Android smartphones coming to market soon. He said it wouldn’t be long before a sub-$100 smartphone went on sale in SA. Vodafone holds 65% of Vodacom’s equity.
Operators are keen to drive down the cost of smartphones to help increase demand for data on their networks. — Staff reporter, TechCentral