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Vodafone adds two pioneering ultra low cost handsets to own-brand device portfolio

15 Mar 2010Technology
  • Vodafone announces the launch of the Vodafone 150, its most affordable ultra low cost handset to date

  • Handsets intended for emerging markets where low cost devices have a significant positive social impact

  • Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250 handsets to launch in coming weeks in India and across Africa

London, Barcelona Monday 15 February, 2010. Vodafone has announced the release of its most affordable ultra low cost handsets to date, intended to give millions of people in emerging markets the opportunity to share in the benefits of mobile technology for the first time.

Launching in the first instance in India and 6 markets in Africa – The Democratic Republic of Congo,  Kenya, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa and Tanzania – it is in emerging markets such as these that the potential of the mobile phone as a powerful social enabler is most apparent. For example, more than 11 million registered customers across Vodafone’s footprint now rely on their mobile phones for money transfers and bill payments. Vodafone is enfranchising its customers both by extending the countries offering such services and by rolling out more devices which give access to them.

To maximize the availability of the handsets across countries with sizeable and isolated rural populations, the launches will be supported by an extensive logistics infrastructure, reaching deep rural segments where mobile penetration typically remains low. In India, it is expected that device availability will reach 60% of the population.

Patrick Chomet, Vodafone's Group Director of Terminals, said, “The cost of mobile handsets can be one of the most significant barriers for people in accessing and benefiting from the growing number of socially valuable mobile services. The lives of people who use these phones - the Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250 – will be changed and improved as they become part of the mobile society. I am proud of the work we have done and will continue to do in this critical area of customer empowerment.”

The Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250 both offer excellent voice and SMS services, as well as support for mobile payment services. The two devices share most specification features, the main differences between them being that the Vodafone 250’s screen is both colour and slightly larger, and it has an FM radio.

By focusing on a custom-built feature set and packaging design – without any compromise to user experience, quality or safety – and by successfully leveraging vendor and partner relationships along the supply chain, Vodafone and handset manufacturer TCL have been able to significantly reduce the usual manufacturing costs and, therefore, the retail price.

The Vodafone 150 will retail unsubsidised at below $15 USD and the Vodafone 250 will retail unsubsidised at below $20 USD, depending on the local market.

For more information about Vodafone at Mobile World Congress, please go to: www.vodafone.com/media.


For further information, please contact:

Vodafone Group
Media Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 1635 664444

Notes to Editors

  1. View or download handset images here: http://www.vodafone.com/start/media_relations/images/mobile_devices.html.

  2. View Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals, talking about the Vodafone 150 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEYtf-E-fP4.

  3. View device overview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLg2Cg5Sbrw.

  4. View device review by Fonehome here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OeQS-BCgig

  5. Vodafone 150 device specification: Black candy bar device with 5-way navigation key; 1.0” monochrome graphic display 96x64 pixels; voice and SMS; GSM 900/1800; polyphonic ringtones; vibration; alarm clock; calculator; currency converter; 2 embedded games; memory for up to100 entries in phonebook plus SMS storage; torch; battery: 500mAh (standby up to 400h, talk time up to 5h); mini USB connector.

  6. Vodafone 250 device specification: Black or grey-blue candy bar device with 5-way navigation key; 1.45” CSTN display, 128x128 pixels; FM radio and stereo headset support; wallpapers; voice and SMS; GSM 900/1800; polyphonic ringtones; vibration; alarm clock; calculator; currency converter; 2 embedded games; memory for up to100 entries in phonebook and SMS storage; torch; battery: 500mAh (standby up to 400h, talk time up to 5h); mini USB connector.

  7. Vodafone has shipped 18 million ULCH phones (VF135, VF136, VF236, VF125, VF225, VF227, VF228) across more than 40 countries since they launched in May 2007.

About Vodafone
Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with approximately 333 million proportionate customers as at 31 December 2009. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and around 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com.