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Monday, November 19, 2007

And the killer mobile application is......

.... the colour pink.

This is an SMS I received from a friend this weekend:

"Is Orange worse than Vodafone? They have a pretty pink phone & I'm tempted"

Reality check, eh? OK, this isn't a particularly high-end user (prepay, mostly uses SMS, no interest in mobile Internet or downloading apps). But it's emblematic of the problems involved in differentiating based on software or applications.

I overheard a similar conversation in a branch of Carphone Warehouse recently. "Hmm, that's cute" (pointing at a Samsung) "Oooh, but that one's got a 5MP camera".... pointing at an expensive, ultra-sophisticated Nokia N95.

Anyone who says that users are 'demanding content' or 'clamouring for advanced services' probably goes to too many conferences where everyone has smartphones and contract data plans. It's easy to assume that everyone views things the same about mobility as people 'in the industry'.

My advice in response to the first SMS, by the way, was "borrow someone else's Orange phone & check you have decent coverage in your flat".

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