Vodafone has unveiled a mass-market smartphone aimed at enticing customers still yet to upgrade from a feature phone.
Costing less than €99, the Smart II promises to introduce non-smartphone consumers to “a new world of content and services” via a “high-end mobile internet experience,” the operator said.
Patrick Chomet, group terminals director at Vodafone, said the device was one of the most important the company has ever introduced.
“It delivers a level of performance, functionality and quality that is traditionally the preserve of high-end smartphones but at an exceptionally affordable price,” he said.
“We believe the Smart II could represent a tipping point in the evolution of the market, bringing a new wave of consumers to the supermobile world for the first time.”
Starting with the UK, the Smart II will launch in 25 markets across “by early summer”.
The device runs on the Android OS and features Google branding along with Gmail, Google Maps and Google Play.
Twitter and Facebook also come as standard.
Vodafone is also promoting joyn – the operator-led RCS instant messaging service that is undergoing trials in Vodafone’s Spain branch currently.
However, a Vodafone spokesman confirmed joyn will not be part of the UK launch.
Earlier this year, Informa analyst Paul Lambert told European Communications that operators will fail to realise the potential of RCS if they launch on a country-by-country basis.