Vodafone 360 is a Major Strategic Play for Handsets & Mobile Internet

By Ian Fogg (bio, recent research or follow me on twitter)

 

Vodafone has just launched a major new initiative called Vodafone 360 (release, with the new 360.com website to follow). Key points:

  • Integration with social networks for an online address book and content sharing.
  • Combination mobile handset + 360.com cloud service strategy.
  • Single sign-on for customers or non-Vodafone customers. 360.com website available to both.
  • Deep handset integration: two new Linux LIMO handsets with "full fat" experience (made by Samsung). Lesser version pre-loaded onto a number of Symbian Series 60 handsets, downloads and other versions available for around 100 handsets.
  • Also includes an App store, new mobile web portal, music service, and maps service.

I'm working on a quicktake report. But this is such a major initiative with wide ranging scope, that I'm extremely curious in what others think? Specifically:

  • How well positioned are operators to implement a social strategy with such deep handset integration, compared with handset makers, or the Internet social networks themselves?
  • Was Nokia's OVI initiative a lightning rod that distracted many from other handset maker initiatives in this space? (Like Motorola's Motoblur, HTC Sense, Google & Android, Microsoft Myphone, or Apple's MobileMe?)
  • Is 360 a better umbrella name than "Vodafone Live!" ?
  • Thoughts on how well 360 fits with Vodafone's new corporate tag line, "Power to you" ?

Comment below! I'm here and will reply as appropriate.

Comments

re: Vodafone 360 is a Major Strategic Play for Handsets & Mobil

The H1 looks like an all around great device. Wonder what kind of OS and processor it will use.

re: Vodafone 360 is a Major Strategic Play for Handsets & Mobil

This is a tangential thought - and it only really works if you expunge the word "Sidekick" from your brain - but the long term significance of V360 may be in its cloud services execution. If (and that's a big if) anyone's to be trusted with provision and management of personal data and apps then the mobile operators with the biggest reaches and deepest pockets must be the prime candidates. Reliable cloud services are the best way for the operators to develop their customer relationships and, ultimately, to take the corporate ITC services market - if they can recognise the opportunity and move in for the kill. (But no, I can't entirely erase Sidekick from my working memory either.)