Vodafone launches handsets aimed at emerging markets

Vodafone is launching two own-branded entry-level handsets – one of which will have a black and white screen – as part of its assault on emerging markets such as China and India.

The mobile phone giant has teamed up with Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE Corporation to produce the phones, which will go on sale in the second quarter of this year. A Vodafone spokeswoman says it is “unlikely” they will be launched in the UK.

The company, which has just bought a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar – India’s fourth-largest operator – launched its first own-brand handset last year. The Vodafone 710 was the first handset manufactured for the mobile giant by China’s Huawei Technologies following a strategic alliance signed by the two companies a year ago.

ZTE appointed Publicis to handle its advertising business in 2005 with a view to starting project work in the UK (MW June 16, 2005).

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