updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu September 24, 2009
Vodafone intros 360 platform, new handsets
UK provider Vodafone on Thursday announced it has launched Vodafone 360, a series of Internet services for cell phones and computers that brings together all contacts, favorite multimedia and photo files as well as social networks. This will allow messages or chats sent through IM programs or social networks such as Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk, to be synced between computer and phone, via both wired and wireless methods.
Vodafone 360 will also soon get support for Twitter, Hyves and studiVZ. Users will have the ability to create different contact groups for each social network, share locations, tag and share photos and favorite places. Syncing contacts and messages with the PC also ensures all can be retrieved if a handset is lost or stolen.
Only certain handsets will be compatible with the service, including two new Vodafone 360 handsets from Samsung that will be exclusive to Vodafone. The just-announced phones will feature a Linux-based operating system created by the LiMo Foundation, and Vodafone's feature will bring up the most frequently contacted people to the main screen of the device. A 3D contacts display will also be part of the devices, though details are unknown.
The Vodafone 360 H1 will sport a 3.5-inch multitouch OLED screen, 3G network compatibility, 16GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, and a 5-megapixel camera. Details of the second device haven't been revealed but it is likely to be less expensive and available in more vibrant colors to appeal to a younger demographic.
Also, four Nokia Symbian smartphones will sport pre-loaded Vodafone 360 software, which will also be downloadable to more than 100 existing devices.
The Vodafone 360 service will launch in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK by Christmas, with other regions and carriers getting it in 2010. The Vodafone 360 handsets are also likely to launch in time for the holidays.
Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung