Vodafone and Facebook create prepay social phone

27 Jul 2011

Mobile operator Vodafone has launched a new prepay phone in collaboration with Facebook – the Vodafone 555 Blue – which puts the Facebook experience of status updates and photo sharing at the heart of the handset.

On the device, a customisable Facebook ‘F’ button can be assigned to one of a number of tasks, including instantly posting a status update with photos from the gallery or with links from the browser. The device will have a 2.4-inch landscape display and a QWERTY keypad.

“Facebook wants to make every phone social and Vodafone has taken the integration of Facebook to the next stage for an affordable mobile device with the Vodafone 555 Blue,” said Henri Moissinac, head of Mobile Business, Facebook.

“We’re really happy that Vodafone will distribute this phone globally and we hope to do much more with them to bring the mobile, social internet to people everywhere.”

Targeted at millions of users worldwide, the Vodafone 555 Blue will have Facebook messages appear in the handset’s inbox alongside texts and email.

Vodafone 555 Blue specifications

Photos taken using the Vodafone 555 Blue’s 2-megapixel camera can be shared with friends with a single click.

The Vodafone 555 Blue includes the Opera Mini 5 web browser for fast internet browsing.

Facebook profiles are automatically synchronised in the Vodafone 555 Blue’s address book.

The device updates regularly in the background, flagging new items on the homescreen and quickly loading them when opened.

“The mobile internet plays a central role in the daily lives of more than 87m Vodafone customers, many of whom are avid Facebook users”, said Vodafone’s Group Terminals director Patrick Chomet.

“The Vodafone 555 Blue is a unique and innovative handset, designed and developed by Vodafone to offer a simple but powerful Facebook experience for people in both emerging markets and developed economies who want to stay in touch with their friends, wherever they are.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years