Vodacom revealed that they will launch the recently announced Vodafone branded Android smartphone, Vodafone 858 Smart, for under R1,000 in South Africa.
“Vodacom will launch the [Vodafone Smartphone] 858 early June ,” said Portia Maurice, chief officer of corporate affairs at Vodacom, adding that the indicative retail price of the device is R999 at this stage.
Vodafone announced on 16 May 2011 that the Vodafone Smart will be available “across the Vodafone footprint by early summer” and that Germany, Italy and the UK will be among the first to sell the device for around €90.
According to a press statement, the Vodafone Smart will be rolled out in a range of colours and users will be able to create their own once-off covers on the web.
The device will run version 2.2 of Google’s Android operating system (codenamed “Froyo”) and will include Google’s full suite of applications: Android Market, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Talk.
According to the device specifications, the Vodafone 858 Smart will sport a 2.8-inch QVGA (240×320) capacitive touch display, 3.6 Mbps HSPA and quad band GSM.
It includes all the features you would expect on a smartphone, such as a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Assisted GPS, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor. An FM radio is also included in the list of connectivity options.
The Vodafone Smart will be powered by the lower end Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225 system-on-chip, the same processor used on the HTC Tattoo, which has a recommended maximum clock speed of 528 MHz.
Earlier this year, Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys said that Vodacom aims to bring a quality Android smartphone to the market this year which will cost around R500, putting it within reach of most working class South Africans.
At an indicative retail price of R999 the Vodafone Smart isn’t there yet, but enough of 2011 remains yet for Vodacom to reach its goal.
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