Archive for June, 2009

June 17th, 2009 Acquires SnapTell

Saw this news in Fierce today.

Good play by Amazon. There is a lot of buzz around mCommerce right now – what is it? what does it mean? how fast will “it” grow? what role will it play in the multi-channel retail experience?

One of the top reasons consumers give for buying in a physical location after conducting research online is immediacy – can get it/buy it now. On a cell phone in a physical location, comparison pricing has the potential to either finalize the deal (if the store does indeed have  the lowest price) or take the customer out the door – either to another store or online.

SnapTell – already popular with cell phone users – adds to Amazon’s growing portfolio of mobile services (which I find impressive already) – and is a bit of a defensive move. I think they may yet bring a few people back to online (or one of their retail partners) with this service.

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June 10th, 2009

Why bother with mobile if the experience is going to be so bad?

I was just looking at a receipt in an email update from B&H Photo in New York. They encouraged me to get an update of my order’s status on my cell phone. So, I typed in a long order number and sent the message off to the short code 22634.

I received an SMS back with my order number and a tracking number. The order number was “live” so to speak – I clicked on it and it tried to iniative a phone call. Stupid. The order number wasn’t a link to ANYTHING?!?!?!!? Not a quick link to FedEx or UPS. Simply a number. I guess when I can copy/paste on my iPhone in another few weeks, this could prove to be useful information.

In any case, “tracking number” DOES NOT EQUAL “status update.” What a terrible user experience and a missed opportunity. Maybe they’ll say that they are only part way through the integration into their back end systems, but really, this was lame.

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June 3rd, 2009

INQ's Twitter Phone

Just saw this post in moco. INQ did a Facebook phone last year that I think offers one of the best social networking experiences on a cell phone. They truly integrated content from Facebook into the contact list. My two cents is that social networking features on cell phones like these will make cell phones the preferred device for these activities – may even trump the PC longer term. Am hoping to prove with some research later this summer.

INQ Mobile To Release Twitter Phone

By Dianne See Morrison – Tue 02 Jun 2009 08:10 AM PST

image INQ Mobile, the cellphone maker behind the “Facebook Phone,” is hopping to tap into Twitter’s surging popularity by releasing a Twitter phone, in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season, Reuters reports. Like its Facebook phone, the Twitter phone would be a mass-market feature phone, and would cost carriers less than $140. So far, INQ’s phones, which also includes a Skype phone, have only been picked up by carrier Three, whose parent company, Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa, also owns INQ. Since the launch of its Skype phone in 2007, the cellphone maker has sold a total of 700,000 devices.

Still, 3 UK reports that the INQ1 drives three to four times higher traffic than other phones. 3 UK director of sales and marketing Marc Allera told Reuters that 65 percent of INQ1 owners used Facebook on a regular basis, and 50 percent used Windows Live Messenger, which is also pre-loaded on the phone. Allera said the only other phone that could generate that traffic was the iPhone, and that even other smartphones couldn’t deliver those numbers. Allera said, “On usual smartphones the internet experience is in no way close and their price is 3-4 times higher.”

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