Vodafone has confirmed this morning that it is indeed launching its first own-brand 3G handset.

The Vodafone 710 is a white-label mobile made by China’s Huawei Technology, and will be offered in all of Vodafone’s major European markets, available on both contract and prepay.

Vodafone joins T-Mobile, O2, and Orange in offering an own-branded mobile. The move is part of a general trend for mobile phone operators to purchase low-cost handsets from Asian manufacturers in order to put their own technology and styling stamp on them.

Vodafone’s statement said, in part: “The move will assist the uptake of 3G services, due to the lower cost per handset and the fact that the Vodafone 710 will be offered on prepay as well as contract, and will provide wide market access to 3G”.

The 710 is a clamshell handset that incorporates access to Vodafone Radio DJ, Mobile TV, music downloads, video telephone and Vodafone live!. Features include an MP3 player, a 1.3Mp camera, and Bluetooth connectivity.