I have just returned from cebit and, of course, I checked
out the German version of i-mode, too. as a matter of fact,
i-mode was the attraction of cebit as it is a LIVE service
that works and that you can buy, not the usual "available
in q3" which never is true anyway.
as for content partners: the share passed on by eplus/imode
is 86% contrary to the 91% as in Japan. there are among
70 content providers, among them cybird, yamaha ringtones and
hallmark hiya. so the number of japanese players joining the
launch in germany with a German site is very low. if somebody
of you plans to develop German i-mode versions, let me know
and I can see how to support you.
as for pricing: to become an i-mode user you need to do
a voice contract for 24 months with eplus. as for i-mode
you pay 3 euro, 1 to 3 euro for premium services plus
0,01 euro per KB (with an introductory offer until end of april 2002).
the NEC phone itself is priced at 249,- euro and there is
no further subsidy. overall, the whole thing is quite
expensive as i-mode in German wants to go after the target
group that has enough money to spend generating nice ARPUs.
as for users: interestingly, i-mode did not sign contracts
with new customers directly at cebit like all other
competitors did. still, they got 5000 customers in the first
7 days after launch through selling in the shops. the reseller
debitel is also selling i-mode.
as for the network: i-mode in germany works over GPRS and
the loading of the pages is quite fast. compared to any
other WAP-based GPRS service, this is really fast.
as for the device: a pity that no Java is supported. the colour
screen is cool and the flip phone form factor something
most Germans don't know except for motorola and I believe
as for the chances of i-mode in Germany: well, the people of
eplus are upbeat and optimistic. the press loves i-mode, too.
some competitors rush quickly towards colour, too, apparently vodafone's stand
was focused on colour services/devices in the last minute.
the new operator quam is offering the same old black and white
devices that are still in the lying around in the wholesaler's inventory,
e.g. Nokia's 6210. the speed of introducing new devices and taking
old ones out of the market a lot slower here in Germany.
so i-mode has a window of opportunity, that is for sure.
but they need to run as the other operators start running as well
in an environment of high competition as the market is basicly
all right, big regards from berlin to tokio. jansan.
Jan Michael Hess a.k.a. jansan
CEO, Mobile Economy | www.mobileeconomy.de
Editor-in-Chief, mobiliser.org | www.mobiliser.org
Mobile Usability Report | www.businessvillage.de/mobileusability
ph: +49.30.30 10 74 88
m: +49.172.32 79 555
e: jansan_at_mobileeconomy.de | jansan_at_mobiliser.org
a: Mobile Economy GmbH & mobiliser.org
Ahornallee 20, D-14050 Berlin, Germany
Received on Thu Mar 21 13:10:14 2002