This is a really exciting post. I am writing this just a few days prior to the public announcement of the Vodafone 555 Blue.
It’s been an amazing ride and certainly one of the most exciting things I have done at Vodafone ever. So this was/is my gig: build the world’s most affordable feature phone with the deepest/best quality Facebook integration. The objective was not to preload a Facebook client onto this, instead rather integrate the Facebook functionality into the natural places. So now we have Facebook messaging being one component of the overall messaging experience, your albums are part of the gallery, etc. What we have built is really the most natural way to use Facebook. I wish I could call it “Facebook phone”, because this is what it was designed to be.
Looking back at the project now I am really thankful for being able to work with a lot of great people in Vodafone, TCT and Facebook. For us here at the Vodafone devices team, this has been a bit of disruptive approach in how we run device projects and I am happy that the whole team has been so receptive for all the unconventional ideas/methods I pushed for. What I am really proud of is that we managed to run this project much more in a hands-on startup fashion than other traditional projects and it proved to be the right way to do it. While Vodafone usually rather has more of a serious image (compared to silicon valley startups) towards the outside world, I think people would be amazed to see how cool it can be to work at Vodafone.
Roughly two more weeks to go before we hit the public and I am eagerly waiting to hear what people will say.
This is where you can find the product page http://www.vodafone.com/vodafone555blue.
Update 25th of July’11: we will annouce in two days from now. Location looks quite nice – Soho Hotel in London. I am really curious how the press will receive the Vodafone 555 Blue. We will have samples to give away – excited 🙂 Unfortunately I am not allowed to update the Facebook application page, yet. Although the device just leaked a few days ago with images and partly wrong spec. I guess nobody really gets it like this, there is just too much inside you can not explain in one line.