All doubts are now removed about who is making “Ferrari Class” handsets and the gloves are off for a bare-knuckles contest in the UK mobile data market. With O2 getting ready to roll out their i-mode portal in the next few months, Vodafone is clearly taking advantage of its relationship with Japanese OEMs and the London young turks need for speed. The GX25 (photo right) has Bluetooth and a QVGA TFT LCD bundled into its tri-band body, and the 3G-enabled 902sh touts a 2-megapixel camera with Video Out function.
Their ad copy says it all: “Jump into the seat with the Sharp 902 official Ferrari merchandise. You too can be part of the team through games, ring tones and customised menu which are all included in this unique package. Enjoy the benefits of this high-quality phone and share the excitement of the Ferrari footage with your friends. This striking Vodafone live! with 3G phone also features a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and 2x optical zoom. After you have amazed others with your photography skills, why not explore the world of Vodafone live! with 3G to catch the latest music videos, Barclays Premiership goals, film trailers and breaking video news bulletins? All this before you have made your first face-to-face video call!“
The interesting point here is how the main stream media misses the connection between Vodafone’s move into Japan and the resulting impact on group operations. While Big Red are not having an easy time of it here, the relationships they have developed and lessons they have learned are going to be (are?) vital for boosting their business in markets elsewhere.
We can’t help but wonder how many of these limited-edition pocket rockets are being unwrapped for Father’s Day about now? (Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere!)
– The Editors