Vodacom today announced that it is the first Vodafone operating company to launch the Vodafone Webbook. This netbook is expected to bring simplified, value-added internet access to thousands of South Africans, many of whom have until now had no access, or have depended on cellphones for internet connectivity.
The device is extremely compact and lightweight, weighing less than 1 kg. The Vodafone Webbook is presented with a 10” LCD screen (1024 × 600 resolution), 512 MB of memory and an additional 4 GB of storage space. It is powered by a 800 MHz Mx515 ARM Cortex A8 CPU.
“The Vodafone Webbook is going to offer the end user a compelling, mobile or at-home computing experience at an affordable price. We think this device is going to be particularly important and attractive for the emerging market,” says Chris Ross, managing executive: Commercial Development at Vodacom.
At R1499 the Vodafone Webbook makes for a low-cost netbook solution
With the Vodafone Webbook, Vodacom customers will be able to enjoy a portable internet experience with the Ubuntu operating system with various software applications, 24 months warranty and free software updates. According to Vodacom it also contains Open Office to enable users to create spreadsheets, presentations and documents.
Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that is a free, fast, easy-to-use, and open source computer programme that was pioneered by Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking about the Ubuntu software, Mark Shuttleworth said: “We are delighted to provide the operating system for the Vodafone Webbook. Ubuntu’s founding principle is to remove the barriers of access to computing for everyone, and products like this give hope of connectivity to people all over the world.”
The accessibility of the device will also be driven through its affordability with various pricing options available. The prices of the Vodafone Webbook are as follows:
• As a standalone device with a prepaid option: R1499 including VAT.
• With a prepaid Starter Pack: R1899 including VAT (Starter Pack includes a modem, SIM card and 100MB of data per month for 12 months).
• With a Contract option, the device with a modem will be priced at R189 on a standard My Meg 500 for 24 months.
• A Top Up option is also available and includes a modem and 100MB of data per month for 3 months @ R169 on a Top Up 135.
The Vodafone Webbook will be available at Vodacom World and all participating outlets on order from 19 October 2011. Vodacom also launched the WebBox
) at the beginning of the year, which brings internet connectivity to television screens.