MWC 2008: Vodafone unveils two own brand phones

Vodafone has announced two new own-brand phones for release this month, as it continues its efforts to push network-branded devices and services.

Unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Vodafone 227 is a clamshell phone while the 228 comes as a slider. The two handsets come after the release of seven own-brand handsets last year, and means that one in six mobiles shipped by Vodafone has its label.

The phones are GSM dual band, featuring voice and text capabilities, colour screen, vibrating alert and a headphone socket. A Vodafone spokeswoman said they were designed to be low cost and easy to use.

Vodafone plans to introduce stronger brand guidelines from the middle of 2008. This will ensure that all own-brand phones made after this point have similar physical design elements as well as a consistent typeface and layout.

"The new brand guidelines are a natural step in the progression of our own brand strategy. It will ensure that Vodafone handsets we launch in future are distinctive and consistent in their look," said Jens Schulte-Bockum, global director of terminals at Vodafone.

"This move is especially important in our emerging markets, where it provides an added way to differentiate our brand to new customers, and which we expect in turn to stimulate revenue," he added.