For those after a smartphone that runs on Google's Android software, budget options are proliferating.
After name-checking 2degrees' “Android for the masses”, Vodafone GM of consumer marketing Kursten Shalfoon today announced his company has released a house-brand Android for $199.
The Vodafone 845 (pictured) runs on version 2.1 of Google’s Android operating system, and numbers a 2.8-inch touchscreen and 3 megapixel camera among its features.
The $199 Vodafone 845 will go head-to-head with the Huawei Ideos Android handset ($379), which is exclusive to 2degrees.
Although Vodafone NZ had no comment on the manufacturer, elsewhere it has been reported that the handset is made by China's Huawei, and is also known as the Huawei Joy (the names are used interchangeably by Huawei staff on this discussion thread).
That does mark something of a shift; formerly, house-brand phones at Vodafone (or Telecom) were almost inevitably made by Taiwan's HTC).
2degrees claimed the 845 was already in the market (Mr Shalfoon said there was a dealer launch Saturday), and that its price was being cut (from $399) in reaction to the Ideos.
READ ALSO: Android outselling iPhone 2:1
(NBR's initial impression of the Ideos, incidentally, is that it has a solid feel for an Android that's a third the cost of other models. However, there are trade-offs for the lesser horsepower you get at this price-point, such as the paucity of internal memory, and slow screen re-orientation. But for the money, it's a winner.)
Customers will not care who’s right about the timing.
What they can be sure of is that Google’s smartphone platform is becoming a stronger and stronger presence in the market, and that options at all price levels are proliferating.
Vodafone also announced it would sell Samsung’s Galaxy Tab – a 7-inch tablet that runs on Android – by Christmas.
Tue, 02 Nov 2010