Vodafone launches first prepay Facebook phone


Vodafone launches first prepay handset designed to work specifically with Facebook in a bid to capture social networkers

Vodafone has launched a low-end handset which it claims is the first Facebook centric handset to be designated purely for prepay customers. The device will be made available in the UK in August.

The Vodafone 555 Blue (pictured), which was designed “in collaboration” with Facebook, begins running Facebook as soon as it is switched on and uses a customisable Facebook button that can be assigned various functions.

Facebook messages are integrated into the handsets inbox alongside texts and emails, users can post photos straight to Facebook with a single click, and Facebook contacts are automatically synchronised with the phone’s contact list.

The handset has a 2.4-inch landscape display, a QWERTY keypad and a 2 megapixel camera.

Vodafone said the device is aimed at emerging markets as well as developed nations.

A number of more advanced Facebook centric handsets, such as the HTC Cha Cha, have been released in developed countries such as the UK.

However, Facebook sees mobile as a key part of its attempts to expand in less developed markets, where broadband penetration is low but mobile phones are common.

Vodafone group terminals director Patrick Chomet said: “The Vodafone 555 Blue is 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.”

Facebook head of mobile business Henri Moissinac said: . “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.”