Vodafone takes on Apple with '360' mobile service

Vodafone announces new 360 service and new Samsung-manufactured 360 handsets
Vodafone announces new 360 service and new Samsung-manufactured 360 handsets

Vodafone launches a new Limo-OS based internet service this week, offering users access to a range of integrated social networks and apps, along with two new 360-branded Samsung-manufactured mobiles.

The move is clearly Vodafone's attempt to claw back some market share from the likes of Apple's hugely successful iPhone, Google's Android mobile OS and RIM's Blackberry.

Vodafone 360 is described as "a brand new set of internet services for the mobile and PC which gathers all of a customer's friends, communities, entertainment and personal favourites (like music, games, photos and video) in one place," working across a range of mobiles and easily synching with your PC.

Facebook, Twitter, Live Messenger

The 360's connected address book 'Vodafone People' automatically syncs your contacts from your phone, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk, and is soon to also include Twitter, Hyves and studiVZ.

The new 360 app store promises a wide range of new apps, games, music and mapping services, while Samsung is set to produce two new "tailor-made Vodafone 360 mobile handsets [to] give the best customer experience of the services including the unique 3D contacts display, driven by Vodafone's 'proximity algorithm', bringing the most frequently contacted people closer to the front."

Speaking about the new service, Pieter Knook, Director of Internet Services at Vodafone Group, said: "Customers can stay in touch and share experiences through social networks, instant messaging, email, apps, maps, music and buying digital content on their mobile bill, with the personalized address book at its heart."

The new 360 service from Vodafone is set to launch in eight European countries with a release date of Christmas.

Adam Hartley