Vodafone calls its set of Internet services for the mobile and the PC, Vodafone 360, the "most personal address book available."
Mobile communications giant Vodafone announced Vodafone 360, a suite of
services that gathers all of a user's friends, communities, entertainment and
media in one place. The aggregation platform, which Vodafone calls the "most
personal address book available," is automatically wirelessly backed up and
synchronized with a user's Mac or PC.
The service gives users the ability to create different contact groups
across social media networks, share locations, and tag and share pictures and
favorite places. It also offers a catalog of more than 1,000 applications for
At launch the full service will be available on two handsets built to the
company's specification by Samsung. The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung offers a
3.5-inch multitouch, high-definition OLED screen, 16GB memory, Wi-Fi, a maximum
talk time of over 400 minutes (3G) and a 5-megapixel camera. That handset, Vodafone
said, will be followed shortly by a second Samsung handset.
The 2009 launch in Germany,
and the U.K. will
be followed by launches in a number of other countries in 2010, including India,
Zealand, Russian and France,
according to a company release. Four Nokia Symbian smartphones will come preloaded
with Vodafone 360, and part or all of the service will be downloadable to more
than 100 phones upon launch.
Pieter Knook, director of Internet services at Vodafone Group, said the
beauty of Vodafone 360 is that all the services work together and are easy to
use. "Vodafone 360 is the first service of its kind to offer customers the
benefits of a truly integrated mobile Internet experience that gathers all
their contacts and content, all around them, in one place," he said. "Customers
can stay in touch and share experiences through social networks, instant
messaging, e-mail, apps, maps, music and buying digital content on their mobile
bill, with the personalized address book at its heart."
The handset represents Samsung's first product based on the Linux-based
technology developed by the LiMo Foundation, a consortium of mobile industry
leaders. The foundation's executive director, Morgan Gillis, said that the
collaboration between Samsung and Vodafone to produce the first LiMo Release 2 signals
the first of a wave of R2 LiMo handsets due in the coming months.
"The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung delivers an inspiring service and handset
combination which illustrates the game-changing results that eventuate when a
handset platform enables leading operators and vendors to realize their vision
of new user experiences with full freedom," he said.
"As a founding member of the LiMo Foundation, we have been highly involved
in driving the platform forward and are truly delighted that Samsung has
delivered the first R2 LiMo handset," said JK Shin, Samsung Electronics'
executive vice president and head of the mobile communications division.
"Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung is our commitment to deliver the quality and
richness of the LiMo platform to consumers worldwide."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.