Vodafone UK have announced details of their new handset lineup, which includes an exclusive agreement to offer the F700 smart phone from Samsung.
Touted as an ‘iPhone rival,’ the touchscreen- packing Samsung offers audio and video playback, 3G and HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) support – potentially providing speeds as high as 7.2Mbit/sec – and a ‘proper’ hardware pull-down QWERTY keyboard.
Vodafone bigwig Schulte-Bokum explained why the iPhone won’t be featuring in their new range: “We like the iPhone. We think it’s a unique user experience, and we applaud Apple for what they’re doing in the industry as a new starter,” he said.
“But,” he added, “we regret that the iPhone, initially, won’t support 3G, which we believe is necessary to deliver a compelling music and Internet experience.”
By coincidence, Vodafone’s announcement comes on the same day that Apple were gleefully indulging in a back slapping fest over the news that they’ve sold their millionth iPhone, while Tech.co.uk were reporting that Apple had signed a $56 million dollar deal with wireless company InterDigitato to supply “2G and 3G technologies.”
Vodafone’s new range is set to include over 25 new handsets – all 3G enabled – of which 13 will support HSDPA.
Two of the handsets on the list will be powered by the Windows Mobile operating system: the Vodafone- branded 920
and the co-branded i620v from Samsung.
When asked if Vodafone would be including Palm’s new phone in their range, Schulte-Bokum kept schtum, commenting,
“We are still in discussions with Palm to refresh that lineup” (we’ll be attending Palm’s new phone launch on Wednesday, so check back for updates).
There’ll be no Linux powered phones from Vodafone yet, but Schulte-Bokum reckoned they could start appearing in ‘spring or early summer’ next year.
Full details of the new phone line up will be expected next month, along with pricing information.