Updated handset range aims at boosting mobile and data services in emerging markets

Vodafone has unveiled three own-brand handsets aimed at extending access to a range of mobile and data services in emerging markets, including money transfer, the mobile internet and a localised content offering. The handsets are due to retail from Spring 2011.

The Vodafone 252 is a refresh of last year’s successful ultra-low cost handset. With the same feature set of colour display and standard voice and text functions, the phone now comes with M-PESA preloaded, providing customers in relevant markets with a reliable and easy-to-use mobile payment experience.

The Vodafone 351 is the most affordable mobile internet phone in Vodafone’s own-brand portfolio, and comes with pre-loaded Opera Mini to check mail and surf the internet, an FM radio, a camera, plus 2MB of onboard memory which can be supplemented via a Micro SD card.

The Vodafone 455 is an entry-price, touchscreen phone with a contemporary design. Also running Opera Mini for internet browsing, the phone has a 2.4” colour screen, a 1.3MP camera, FM radio and a music player.

Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals said: “The Vodafone branded handset programme allows us to extend our services to places of real need. Across the world we are seeing significant changes in how people use their mobile phones to access the internet and other data services  – but those changes are not evenly distributed - data penetration in India is at just 6% compared to 37% in Europe. By lowering the price and technology barriers to access, the handsets will let many more customers in emerging markets participate in and benefit from next generation mobile services.”

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