Here in France where we imported i-mode almost one year ago, we have now
more than 300,000 i-mode subscriber which represent 10% of our postpaid
base. If you compare the initial growth rate of i-mode in Japan 4 years ago
and ours, you'll see that we are completely in line with Docomo growth curve
(after one year of service they had 4 millions customers, e.g. 10% of their
subscriber base, interesting isn't ?).
Our i-mode subscribers are satisfied at 80%, and we have a very interesting
usage rate (cannot deliver real figures here), and more than half of those
subscribers are paying for premium contents. And more than that the loyalty
of users to monthly subcriptions is very good as they stay several months
subscribed to services..Some of our content providers are really making
money already and more with i-mode than with our 2 competitors services
(although we have a 17% market share in France) !
So we can say that importing the i-mode service in France is already a
success. I can give you tenths of links to french articles that speak of
i-mode as 'the reference in mobile multimedia service". Recently our 2
bigger competitors are launching their services (Vodafone Live! for SFR and
Orange World for Orange) and several newspaper have titled "One year after
i-mode, SFR and Orange launch their mobile multimedia service...".
Another interesting fact is more than 95% of those 300000 subs have bought
the only available phone model : NEC22i, that has no camera or Java features
! This mean that we were able to attract those first customers, without
those fantastic features that our competitors concentrate on for all their
marketing campaigns !
It is why we think that with the new phone models that we are currently
introducing and the whole set of services that we have asked our content
providers to launch at the same time (photo, java, Location-based services),
we are very confident in the growth of subscribers. Wait for our
announcements for this month...
One thing that you have forgot, is that in France we have more than 50% of
people that has never never used the Internet ! A big share of our subs got
their first e-mail address with i-mode, and they where happy just about that
! It's true that we weren't the first to introduce e-mail on phones, but the
i-mode e-mail is much more convenient, because you've got a real
notification for new messages, and your inbox is fully manageable off-line
(messages are stored in the handsets), and the most important is that there
is no parameters to configure to use it : your e-mail is working once you've
bought and signed the i-mode contract. Those three minor things
(notification, local inbox, and ready-to-use) where critical to make the
usage of mobile e-mail exists. And this is the case now (more than 10
millions e-mails exchanged in 11 months of i-mode service, just compare that
to 1 or 2 millions MMS exchanged on our competitors networks...). The main
problem we have now is that we are only the third operator and it is why
today the i-mode success is not completely visible : our competitors are one
year late, and somewhere not having a true competition is not helping us to
give birth to a new media...
It's why I think this debate will end : i-mode can be exported, we're not so
different from japanese, and there's definetely a place for a new media, the
multimedia mobile phone. I don't say that i-mode is the only system to
acheive that but i-mode has brought some basic rules on the market that are
being copied by WAP/MMS operators : content providers business model,
controling phones specification, and portal management. Once occidental
mobile operators will understand those three points, the mobile multimedia
will really take off.
i-mode expertise and roadmap Manager
De : keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net
[mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net]De la part de wbc
Envoye : samedi 1 novembre 2003 15:26
A : keitai-l_at_appelsiini.net
Objet : (keitai-l) Re: AW: port of i-mode to other cultures
Hi Jan, I recognize that Japanese use i-mode and otherwise browse the
web with their phones. On the other hand I suppose that the amount of
"information" that they get through their phones is far less than what a
user of the internet in the US or Europe gets. Of course it is hard to
quantify but I think it fairly clear. I would feel really limited if I
had to use a mobile phone to get information that I can and do get on a
PC. This was however the predicament of the Japanese when i-mode was
introduced and it was all they really had access to and for that reason
I feel that it took off. It took a well developed service (the internet)
and offered it (albeit in a very watered down version) to an audience
which was previously deprived of any part of it (not literally but
effectively deprived). Like to someone who is hungry even a lousy meal
will taste delicious. So from that point of view, i-mode is not
particularly portable to somewhere where the food is already delicious.
Of course there have been embellishments and with so much attention,
energy, and work devoted to it in Japan it is bound to have some aspects
which will be of interest outside of Japan. Such things as the Felica
system merging with a handset for instance. However, I don't think the
i-mode menu is something that should really take off in places where the
internet is popular. On the other hand there is clearly convergence
occurring in various ways. For example, smart phones or KDDI's flat rate
high speed browsing. Once that happens and if the phones are capable of
downloading a reasonably high percent of pages available on the net,
then phone, PDA, and PCs will basically have merged. One problem with my
discussion is that I am not really sure how i-mode is defined. I am
taking it as the i-menu. By the way, I noticed that you are in Germany
(I think). Is it true that in Europe people have been sending email on
there phones for years? Anyway, thanks for reading my rambling. I am
afraid that I am a latecomer and that these arguments have all been
Bill Claster, Tokyo.
[mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net] On Behalf Of Jan Michael Hess
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 10:42 PM
Subject: (keitai-l) AW: port of i-mode to other cultures
hi "wbc_at_tkk.att.ne.jp" (unfortunately we don't know your name),
even if you don't like browsing and emailing on your keitai,
there are more than 40 million Japanese with i-mode enabled
phones and about 90% are using them according to Yusuke Kanda,
President of DoCoMo i-mode Europe, who just spoke at our
Mobile Kaizen Seminar in Stuttgart.
i-mode is a complete mobile Internet service offering with around
3.800 official content providers on their i-mode menu and
over 67.000 unofficial content providers in the unofficial market
that is indexed by independent search engines.
DoCoMo has deals with 6 MNO partners in Europe that have about
50 million subscribers. Today, less than 1 million of them have
i-mode powered mobile phones. But DoCoMo believes that new handsets
in 2004 that finally reach the necessary quality as well as more
Marketing power from i-mode licensees in their respective market will
help make i-mode a success outside of Japan, too. DoCoMo has a lot
of know-how and will clearly help its partners to succeed, although
this process takes a lot more time than we all expected.
When you look closer at the Japanese market, you can see that
KDDI and J-Phone (now Vodafone) copied the i-mode business model
(not all its technology decisions) almost 100%. Outside of Japan
Vodafone has adopted the i-mode model, too, (though giving less
money to its content partners). Most important, Vodafone now
specifies handsets as handsets are the important user interface.
Finally, Daniel Scuka and me believe that it is all about
the management culture, not the end user culture. Anybody can
learn from i-mode, adopt it, improve it etc. That's why we
run a seminar called "Mobile Kaizen" showing how we can
offer better products and services while increasing profits by
implementing continuous improvements in the Mobile Economy Triangle
of networks, devices, and services. So far all our participants
have agreed that they have learned a lot from our 1-day wireless
Japan peep show and that they will look into improving their role
in the Triangle.
> I would like to hear what other members feel about the so-called
> porting of i-mode. I suppose this may be an outdated discussion
> but would anyone be willing to comment on the ideas below.
> What is it that is the so-called success of i-mode that could be
> exported. I have read that it is a service not a technology. The
> browsing on i-mode is limited to the point of being useless.
> Email is not new. Signing up for services will not catch on very
> well because most services are free on the net and it is only in
> Japan where the net offerings are so limited and where computer
> usage has been very limited relatively speaking that i-mode could
> catch on and where people were willing to pay for services that
> are offered for free elsewhere (don't know how long they will be
> offered for free but the are at the moment).
> Games and Java apps are different from the above discussion. An
> application can sell on a phone as well as on a pc.
> Anyway, does anyone have any comments?
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Received on Sun Nov 2 18:20:17 2003