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Facebook enters the realm of the Pre-Pay Mobile Phone

Facebook applications have been available in a number of Smartphones for a while now but, thanks to a partnership between Vodafone and Facebook, the world’s first pre-pay Facebook focused mobile phone is set to be available from August.

Vodafone’s hardware partner, TCL, have collaborated with Facebook in order to create the Vodafone 555 Blue, a pre-pay mobile phone that centres on the integration of the social network into its operation.

According to Vodafone director Patrick Chomet, the model is a “unique and innovative handset, designed and developed by Vodafone to offer a simple but powerful Facebook experience for people in both emerging markets and developed economies”.

The main feature of the phone is therefore that it offers the ultimate Facebook experience without incurring the same costs as a Smartphone – while the price of the handset has not been revealed it is expected to be set at around £60.

The development marks a key growth in the mobile phone market, demonstrating how all models are becoming more advanced and social network friendly.

Henri Moissinac, Facebook’s head of mobile, said that the company “to do much with them [Vodafone] to bring the mobile, social internet to people everywhere”.

The specifications of the Vodafone 555 Blue may be considerably lower than those of a Smartphone, but then, so is the price.

The development of this new model marks a change in the mobile phone world and perhaps is a way for Facebook to remain prominent in order to battle its new competitor Google+, which requires an Android or iOS device in order to run the app.

Specifications of the Vodafone 555 Blue are as follows:

  • MTK6235 processor running at 200MHz
  • 40MB integrated storage
  • 2.4” display
  • 2megapixel camera
  • No 3G or Wifi connectivity included
  • Opera Mini 5 for general web browsing

The phone’s key features lie in its custom compatibility with Facebook.

Rather than simply including a Facebook app, the phone goes beyond this and fully integrates it within the phone.

Facebook messages are stored alongside SMS in the same inbox and Facebook details are stored alongside other information held within the address book. An app for the camera also allows photos to be shared instantly.

The new Facebook phone is therefore not a direct competitor for the BlackBerry or iPhone handsets, but could mark the beginning of a social network war within pre-pay mobile phones.