Vodafone has launched an entry level Facebook phone in the UK market and now intends to bring the phone to India. The handset, named ‘555 Blue’, costs US$100 (Rs 4,500).
The 555 Blue is designed to appeal people who love social networking and messaging friends. Facebook is built into the core of the device. Phone contacts are automatically synchronised with friends’ Facebook profiles. The device has a 2.4-inch display and a Qwerty keyboard designed to make it easy to type chat, email, send texts and update your status.
The phone has been designed for the developing markets, where this device will provide the internet access as well as social networking. Indian spokesperson of Vodafone confirmed to The Mobile Indian “We are actively looking at bringing this phone to the Indian market”. However, he refused to divulge further details like date and pricing.
Like in UK, Indian consumers are also likely to be offered preferential data packs with this phone.
It also features a dedicated Facebook ‘F’ button, which is customisable in terms of assigning tasks, such as instantly posting a status update with photos or with links from the browser. The device also updates Facebook automatically every 20 minutes, although this can be customised.
The 555 Blue features a fully integrated messaging service that brings SMS, MMS, email and Facebook together in one place. Photos can be uploaded to Facebook, emailed or sent via Bluetooth at the click of button.
The handset was produced by Vodafone in conjunction with Chinese manufacturer TCL (which owns Alcatel brand of mobiles). Vodafone developed its own operating system to keep costs down. The chipset is provided by Taiwanese manufacture MTK. The 555 Blue uses the Opera Mini 5 web browser. The phone will have Bluetooth and EDGE (2.5G) for wireless connectivity.