What’s the rev share? It’s a 70:30 split, although there’ll be a 50:50 arrangement on certain promotional projects. Is 360 a money-maker or more about reducing churn? I’d say it’s a balance of the two. We want to monetise compelling apps and, yes, we do hope that the service will help us acquire new customers. Clearly, people service is the heart of the project. But you’ve unveiled this just when everyone else is making a rich address book. Does that annoy you? I prefer to think of it as a validation of what we’re doing. There’s been a good reception so far. But what’s really exciting is the stuff that comes next. We’re really relying here on the creativity of developers to make great, useful applications. Give me an example. That’s really their job. But once you have access to a rich address book and the music library, then maybe you could do something with birthdays. Like I say, it’s over to developers. So much has been said about the headlock between operators and handset companies with their competing content services. Do you think your overtures will be rejected? Personally, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t work with us on 360. It’s not prohibitive.
The other area of friction is competing apps – like Skype or Google Voice or even an app storefront… We’ve no problem with VoIP apps as long as the right data plan is in place. We’re not really looking to have third party app storefronts in our shop.
The Samsung H1 is preloaded with Vodafone 360
Are you going to ban adult apps like Apple has done? No. We take the same stance on apps and widgets as we took on Vodafone Live downloads. We have compulsory age verification, so we don’t preclude adult or gambling services as long as they meet our guidelines. Clearly on-bill payment is a big advantage for operators. What about in-app billing? Is that available? Obviously, this is important and the plan is to make it available in the new year. It has actually been built into some showcase services at launch. One example is with Deutsche Telecom, which lets users buy a code that substitutes for a stamp. Finally, a vital component: customer care. Are you ready? Customer care is at the forefront of our thoughts. We recognise the importance of in-store set-up, so we’ve worked hard on that. Obviously, the third party element makes it interesting. There’s a loop process where the developer gets notified because ultimately it’s their transaction, but the policy is a refund for unhappy customers.
Vodafone 360 is... A ‘3D’ connected address book – Vodafone People, open to everyone on any network. It syncs all contacts from a customer’s phone, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk, and will soon include Twitter, Hyves and studiVZ. A set of services that gathers all of a customer’s friends, communities, entertainment and personal favourites (like music, games, photos and video) in one place. A suite of content including apps, games, music and mapping services accessible from the app or browser. A developer programme run by JIL and based around W3C protocols.
The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung has a 3.5-inch multi-touch hi-def OLED screen, 16GB memory, wi-fi and five megapixel camera. The 360 H1 and M1 run the LiMo operating system. At launch four Nokia Symbian devices will be pre-loaded with Vodafone 360, ten can download it and 100 more can download part or all of the service.
The 2009 launch in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK will be followed by launches in a number of other countries in 2010. These include India, Turkey, South Africa, New Zealand, Romania, France through SFR, Russia through MTS, and through Vodafone Hutchison in Australia.
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