I will be offline on vacation seeing what life was like before cell phones. Will not be posting again until CTIA in Los Angeles.
Archive for August, 2006
Disney announced earnings earlier this week. There wasn’t a lot said about their MVNO businesses, but they did say that ESPN Mobile had not met the expectations put forth at the time of launch.
My earlier blog covers most of what I have to say on this topic – the audience for video, music, mobile content (more broadly) and news is bigger than it is for an entertainment-first wireless service provider.
The Disney MVNO will be interesting to watch. Parents are still buying on value best provided by the carriers, but are motivated by knowing that their children are safe. I think it will be a question of: are voice and SMS enough for me to communicated with my children and know where they are? Is knowing where they are enough to give me peace of mind? Is it the children or the parents that have the real need here?
(Ok, yes the title is copied from the famous show on public radio, but my friend really said that out loud)
Just for fun yesterday, I handed a phone I’ve been trialing over to a friend of mine at dinner last night. I didn’t tell her what it was, who made it, etc.
She really said, “wait … wait, don’t tell me, I want to guess.”
Her dialogue as she tried to first guess what the device was and then try to use it:
“I see a microphone; therefore, it must be a voice recorder.”
“Ok, it has a play button so there must be MP3’s.”
“How do you turn this on?”
“What does it do”
Now she’s trying to break it open by looking for hinges.
(breaking it open fails)
Now just randomly hitting buttons to make something happen. Finally it lights up.
“Oh, I see, it lights up.”
Now it is playing music.
“Ok, I don’t know how I got it to do that.”
“Hips don’t lie” is now playing in the restaurant at high volume and she can’t get it to turn off.
She hits a few more buttons.
“Ok, you (me) have this device so it MUST be a phone. How do you dial?”
Now there is more of trying to break the phone apart. Finally a hinge unlocks and the phone opens to reveal a keyboard.
“Ah, it is a phone.”
More investigation and an attempt to make a call.
“How do you answer this when someone calls?”
Anyway, that is enough dialogue to get the point across. My friend has worked in the technology sector for more than ten years, has an ipod, large flat screen, HDTV, etc. – so not a tech-newbie.
Most consumers are still making carrier selections on the quality of the voice coverage and low cost service plans. Selling music and video services can not compromise the voice service – even the UI on the handset.
MobileLime announced a deal with Subway to send coupons to customers who opt in. There wasn’t a lot of detail in the release. There wasn’t a lot of detail in the release about the value of the coupons, frequency, or what events would trigger coupons or who would do so. Definitely an interesting idea. Customers are trackable because they register with MobileLime and pay with MobileLime. Coupons on phones make sense because your phone is always with you. Will be interesting to read more about the uptake from consumers.