Vodafone has canned the development of a range of phones specifically tailored to support its Vodafone 360 social media and apps platform. The UK-based operator has confirmed that it will discontinue the two specially made LiMo-based Samsung smartphones already available in the market – the H1 and M1 – and has shelved plans to bring out a successor, the Samsung H2. The move will be a blow to the Linux-based LiMo Foundation, which is struggling to compete with Google’s Android platform, which is also based on open-source Linux. “From now on we will be focusing all efforts on expanding the range of handsets and platforms that support Vodafone 360 and in developing and enhancing the suite of Vodafone 360 services,” said Vodafone in a statement yesterday. “Consequently there will be no further development of bespoke Vodafone 360 handsets, and activity on the H2 ceases with immediate effect.” Vodafone said that there were now around 100 handsets that support the Vodafone 360 suite of services across several device platforms, including Android.
The operator launched Vodafone 360 in September last year and has rolled it out to most of its European markets. The service aims to gather all of a customer’s friends, communities, entertainment and personal favourites (like music, games, photos and video) in one place by synching address book and social media contacts. Vodafone said at the time that the specially-built 360 handsets would provide “the full Vodafone 360 experience.” Vodafone announced in February that 7,000 apps had been made available for download from the 360 apps store. This apps store is now expected to form part of the international Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) intiative, in which Vodafone is playing a leading role.