Vodafone Australia is busy today – announcing a new Visual Voicemail (VVM) service for iPhone a few hours ago, it has now released details of the upcoming HTC Magic Android device to hit that market.
The operator confirmed this morning that Australian customers will be able to get their hands the spanking new Android device from HTC this June 15th. It also managed to snag an exclusive on the white version of the device – so if you’ve really got your heart set on a white one, you’ll need to switch to Vodafone.
Vodafone will be running it’s own push-service for the device. Firmware-Over-The Air (FOTA) will automatically push firmware upgrades to your phone – like T-Mobile UK did with the Cupcake update. It’s also shipping with the full selection of Google mobile services, and a geo-tagging function for your photos.
From the release:
Edward Goff, Head of Consumer Markets, Vodafone Australia said, “There has been a lot of hype about the HTC Magic and we are sure that this hot phone will cast a spell over our customers once they get their hands on one. We are very excited to bring this cool new phone to the Australian market. Our customers want an unbeatable mobile internet experience so they can make the most of their time while out and about, and the HTC Magic certainly delivers this and is the perfect addition to Vodafone’s unbeatable range of touch-screen smartphones.”
VVM kind of exploded in popularity during March/April this year. We’ve discussed in quite a lot of detail, but it’s basically a service that automatically transcribes any voicemails you recieve into text, and lets you view and read them like you would your emails or SMS.
Althought that’s not quite what the iPhone version of VVM does. iPhone VVM simply displays your texts in a list like SMS, displaying the time and identity of the caller. It doesn’t do any transcribing, though. It’s more of a voicemail management tool. Still, it’s a feature that had been expected in Australia with the original iPhone, but has only now made it onto the devices.
From the Vodafone Blog:
“All Vodafone iPhone 3G customers will have access to the Visual Voicemail application by close of business Friday 29 May 2009. Over the next few days, Vodafone will proactively notify customers via a TXT message, alerting them to this new service…
How do you get Visual Voicemail?
Easy. Your iPhone will be automatically updated – whether you’re an existing or new iPhone customer. But first you’ll have to install the latest software. It’s free to download and it’s simple – here’s how:
1. Synchronise your iPhone with iTunes
2. Check for updates and download the latest software update
3. Turn your iPhone off and back on”
What we think?
Yeah, Vodafone had been busy. Busy playing catch-up! VVM has been available on other platforms for quite a while now, particularly the iPhone. Many people expected it be on the iPhone 3G – like it was everywhere else – but it’s only making it’s way to market now. The real question is, after such a delay why is it still the crappy iPhone non-VVM? After this amount of time, one would presume they were delaying until they got the “visual” part right. Ah well.
As for the FOTA service – well, I suppose it’s unfair to say it’s playing catch-up there. T-Mobile pretty much wowed everyone with the Cupcake-push recently. That’s a function of Android, rather than individual operators, and it’s a great example of how powerful “push” can be, when properly used.