Vodafone

Vodafone ditches HTC EVO 3D before it even arrives

You snooze, you lose, HTC. UK carrier Vodafone has confirmed that it has dropped the HTC EVO 3D from its line-up, after continued delays in the glasses-free 3D smartphone's availability. Speaking to a Vodafone spokesperson today, Android Community was told that the carrier had decided that, given the devices it currently offers and those it has in the pipeline, and that "due to delays to the launch of the device" it felt the EVO 3D was no longer required. Those customers who had already pre-registered their interest in the EVO 3D on Vodafone will be contacted and the decision not to range it explained. The handset has already been removed from the Vodafone "Coming Soon" page. "We realise this will come as a disappointment to some people but we already offer some fantastic phones, like the HTC Sensation and Galaxy S2, with some really exciting handsets in the pipeline" the Vodafone spokesperson told us, "and we'll continue to focus on bringing the latest and greatest smartphones to Vodafone customers." While the EVO 3D went on sale in the US on June 24, having been initially announced back at CTIA 2011 in March 2011, European sales of the GSM variant are yet to begin. HTC confirmed it would be offering the device in GSM form back at the end of June.

Vodafone UK switches Samsungs: drops Galaxy Tab 10.1v for thinner 10.1

Bad news if you were holding out for an 8-megapixel Galaxy Tab 10.1v in the UK, with Vodafone UK deciding to switch their attentions from the original Samsung slate - announced as an exclusive to the carrier back at its debut in February - to the updated, slimmer version that followed on in March. Vodafone has alerted pre-interest customers to the change in an email today. Samsung whipped the original 10.1 back into the labs after Apple unveiled the iPad 2, returning at CTIA with a slimmer version that switched out, among other things, the 8-megapixel original camera for a 3-megapixel alternative. Vodafone initially pushed ahead with its plans for the Galaxy Tab 10.1v, launching it in Australia and Germany, but the UK arm has obviously decided the thinner model is more competitive and opted for that instead. It's unclear when exactly the Vodafone Galaxy Tab 10.1 will hit the market, with the carrier still yet to announce launch dates or, indeed, pricing. The slate arrives in the US on June 8 in WiFi form, with an LTE version hitting Verizon Wireless this summer. [via Vodafone]

HTC ChaCha on sale next week confirms Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK has confirmed to Android Community that the HTC ChaCha is going on sale next week, the first of HTC's "Facebook phones" from MWC 2011 back in February. Offering Android 2.3 with a custom Facebook widget and interface, the ChaCha has both a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. Interestingly, Vodafone will also be offering bundled BT OpenZone WiFi hotspot access with the ChaCha, letting users get online via hotspot rather than use their data allowance. Although pricing for the smartphone - and the plans it will be paired with - hasn't been confirmed, HTC always intended the ChaCha to be a budget device, and free WiFi can only help reduce monthly data bills. The ChaCha has a dedicated Facebook button that allows users to share whatever they're doing on their Facebook wall, along with a 5-megapixel camera and the usual mixture of WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. SIM-free sales are expected to begin on June 6. There's a pre-interest sign-up page for Vodafone here.

XPERIA Play and Arc Android/Facebook update out for Vodafone handsets

Sony Ericsson's Android 2.3.3 update for the XPERIA Play and XPERIA Arc has been released for Vodafone UK's versions of the two smartphones. The updates bring the two handsets up to speed with Google's latest version of the OS, as well as adding in Facebook Inside XPERIA integration as on the mini and mini pro. Rather than an OTA update, the new firmware is delivered using a USB connection to your computer and the Sony Ericsson Update Service app. Vodafone says it will also improve voice quality, device stability, email setup and Exchange account performance, and introduce various bugfixes and security enhancements. Full instructions for the Play are here and for the Arc are here. Let us know how you get on!

HTC Sensation hits stores today

The Vodafone HTC Sensation has been up for pre-order since early May, and now the dual-core smartphone is headed into stores. Vodafone tells us that pre-order customers should be receiving their Sensation today, while everyone else can pick one up from free with a new, £35 per month, two-year agreement. Your money gets you a 4.3-inch, qHD 960 x 540 touchscreen, 1.2GHz dual-core MSM8260 processor, 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, flash and 1080p Full HD video recording, and the front-facing camera for video calls. There's also the latest iteration of HTC Sense on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. All in all, it promises to be a mighty impressive smartphone. There's more information in our hands-on video below, and in our report from the Sensation's launch. [vms a2b4e80506f582af3676]

XPERIA Play heist was fake confesses Vodafone New Zealand

Vodafone New Zealand has admitted that it faked the entire "stolen XPERIA Play shipment" story, now confirmed to be a promotional campaign designed to mark the launch of the Sony Ericsson gaming smartphone. Doubts arose after Vodafone released "security camera footage" of the theft, which failed to convince viewers. Company spokesperson Matthew East confirmed to The Australian that the announcement had, in fact, been a marketing stunt rather than a legitimate crime. It's unclear when, exactly, the phone will launch. Would-be XPERIA Play owners in New Zealand can find out more about the carrier's competition here. The rest of us can sleep easily in our beds tonight, knowing that there aren't rogue Sony Ericsson handsets roaming the streets, flaunting their illicit IMEIs and generally being rowdy. [via Engadget]

Entire Vodafone New Zealand XPERIA Play stock stolen

Vodafone New Zealand has been forced to delay its launch of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play, after its entire launch stock was stolen. According to the carrier's Facebook page, a "major security" breach saw thieves make off with all the gaming phones. The carrier shared a (tiny) photo of what looks to be a store with a boarded-up window, though it's unclear if this single retail location actually had all of the Vodafone stock on-site. The handset is yet to be listed on the carrier's site. Vodafone hasn't said exactly when would-be mobile gamers can expect more stock to arrive. Conspiracy theories already abound, however, with some Facebook commenters going so far as to suggest that the carrier has staged a fake robbery to cover up a more mundane delay of the XPERIA Play. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Vodafone Smart brings you Android on the cheap

Vodafone's 845 was a tiny Android phone with a suitably tiny price, targeting the entry-level market that Android has flourished so well in. Now, the carrier has its successor, the Vodafone Smart, an Android 2.2 Froyo handset with a 2.8-inch QVGA capacitive touchscreen and quadband HSDPA (3.6). The dinky phone measures in at 56 x 106 x 12mm and tips the scales at a modest 100g. It can be customized with various different covers, channeling some retro Nokia action, and owners will be able to either choose from Vodafone's planned spring/summer and autumn/winter ranges, or design their own online. There's WiFi and Bluetooth as you'd expect, and the Smart will drop in Germany, Italy and the UK first for around €90 ($79). [youtube il9OztJi6xs] Press Release:
Vodafone announces the Vodafone Smart – a smartphone for everyone Android powered and with innovative design features, the Vodafone Smart is the first in its category – in store for summer, available on pay as you go data plans Monday 16th May, 2011. Vodafone today announces the launch of the Vodafone Smart, the latest handset in its own-brand range and the first in its category: a fully-featured smartphone with popular appeal for the next wave of data users. The Vodafone Smart delivers a compelling smartphone experience, empowering customers to enter the world of the mobile internet, bringing together apps, navigation, social-networking and multimedia, all at a great price, in a great package. Patrick Chomet, Vodafone Group Terminals Director said, “More and more Vodafone customers are enjoying the benefits of smartphones which currently account for over 40% of the phones we sell in Europe. Continuing to push the boundaries through our own-brand range, the Vodafone Smart is a new smartphone concept. It takes the higher end mobile internet experience and packages it for the mass market, its range of covers and accessories making it a fun fashion statement. Available on pay as you go plans, and on the fast, reliable Vodafone networks, the Vodafone Smart is a great step-up into the world of mobile data.” The Vodafone Smart will be rolled out in a range of colours – from cool monochromes, through bold brights, to bespoke graphic designs. What’s more, customers will be able to personalise their phone, creating their own one-off covers on the web. With spring/summer and autumn/winter cover ranges planned, customers can build up a cover collection to suit their style and spirit. The Android 2.2 software will give customers access to the full Android experience, including the Android Market™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ and Google Talk™ instant messaging. In addition, the phone has a zoom camera and a capacitive touchscreen as well as 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Vodafone design team have created the user experience with first-time smartphone users in mind and, as such, the homescreen comes pre-loaded with direct links to key content and features including Facebook™, Twitter™, email, Vodafone’s ‘Prepay Manager’ for quick top-ups, Vodafone Music and finally the ‘Updates’ widget, which gives customers easy access to a shortlist of leading Android Market apps and other services selected by local Vodafone editors. The Vodafone Smart will be available across the Vodafone footprint by early summer. Germany, Italy and the UK will be among the first to sell the phone which will retail for around €90.

Vodafone HTC Desire HD Android 2.3 Gingerbread update goes live

Vodafone has begun pushing out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Desire HD, only a day after HTC began distributing the generic version of the upgrade. As with the general version, it brings the Desire HD up to the same software level as the HTC Desire S. In addition to the usual bugfixes, Vodafone's changelist suggests the following tweaks:
  • Enhancements to the user interface (simpler and slicker)
  • New Android Keyboard,  with easy copy/paste feature
  • Improved Power Management
  • Internet Calling support
  • Multiple Camera Management (front and back)
As far as we know, Vodafone is the first UK carrier to get their branded version of Gingerbread for the Desire HD into the wild. Let us know how you get on with the upgrade in the comments.

Vodafone HTC Sensation pre-orders open ahead of May 19 release

Vodafone UK have begun taking pre-orders for the HTC Sensation, ahead of what's expected to be a May 19 release date for the dual-core Android smartphone. Announced last month, the Sensation will be priced from free with a new, two-year agreement of £35 ($58) per month or above. Your money - and commitment - gets you a 4.3-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the latest version of HTC Sense with a clever lock-screen that integrates various widgets and app shortcuts. There's also Qualcomm's new dual-core 1.2GHz processor keeping things running, and 1080p HD video capture. The Sensation is expected to launch in the US later in 2011 as the T-Mobile Sensation 4G, but for the moment Vodafone have exclusivity on the handset in Europe. No word on how long that will last for. More details on the HTC Sensation in our hands-on report. [vms a2b4e80506f582af3676]
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