Orange chases pink pound

Social networking beyond the PC

Orange logo KS360

Orange is promoting an exclusive pink handset from LG that's aimed squarely at obsessive social networkers. It sells for £80 as part of Orange's pay-as-you-go Dolphin package. The mobile has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and links directly to Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo. 'Guys, don't miss out too,' we're assured by a press release strong on gender stereotypes – there are also exclusive blue and black versions available. Exclusive here means for the next fortnight.

Useful features include its 2.2-inch QVGA screen, touchscreen dialing, a basic resolution 2MB camera, and FM radio. Its built-in memory is fortunately expandable as the meagre 15MB it comes with will be enough for your personal theme tune and not a lot more.

Dolphin's relationship with cellphone

The LG KS360 sells itself as "The social networkers number one choice" when it's used as part of Orange's Dolphin package. This, theoretically, gives users free texts to any network, any time, along with free access to Facebook, Bebo, and MySpace.

In the small print it says that this free access for Dolphin customers lasts a paltry month and is subject to users topping up by a minimum of £10 in the past one. Meanwhile, 'unlimited' free texts are subject to a £30 monthly top-up and what is called 'fair usage'.

While it's a positive move to bring the addicted social networkers out from behind their desks and into the real world, more will need to be done to bring them harmoniously in line with the rest of society. Wacky onscreen personas will need to be literally fleshed out and eye contact will have to be re-taught. Most importantly, large rounds of drink will have to not only be carried back from the bar, but funded with real hard currency.