Vodafone launches first UK pre-pay Facebook phone

Vodafone 555 Blue offers deep integration with the social network
Kerry Butters
Kerry Butters -

Vodafone today announced the launch of the first pre-pay phone “specifically designed to put the Facebook experience into the heart of the handset”, available to buy in the UK in August.

The Vodafone 555 Blue was developed in collaboration with Facebook and allows users to share status updates and photos on the move at a low cost, making it ideal for families.

The phone automatically loads Facebook as soon as it’s switched on and synchronises social networking contacts into its address book. Photos taken with the handset’s 2 megapixel camera can be shared instantly by pushing a button, and messages from Facebook are automatically placed in the user’s inbox.

The phone features a dedicated Facebook button as well as chat capability, and the home screen has a ‘what’s on your mind’ box for instant status updates.

The 555 Blue also includes the Opera Mini 5 web browser for faster internet browsing on the go, a 2.4 inch landscape display and a Qwerty keypad as well as Palringo chat suite which supports Google chat, Facebook, AIM and ICQ, amongst others.

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

He went on to explain that the “innovative handset” was designed to offer a “simple but powerful Facebook experience” for people in emerging markets as well as developed economies.

“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.”

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