Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Has i-mode 'made it over here'?
Two weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion event organised by BIMA in
Perhaps due to the nature of BIMA’s activities, the majority of attendees were from creative agencies rather than from mobile backgrounds. One such attendee was a relative newcomer to mobile and asked me before the event started what i-mode actually was – was it a special technology? A new type of phone? Or just a brand name?
This seemed to be an image shared by many people there - that i-mode was something tangible that could be easily taken from
When I lived in
There is also cooperation between MNO and content providers which had noticeable benefits for the consumer experience. When I went mobile shopping on Amazon, the goods would automatically be shipped to my phone’s registered address and added to my monthly mobile bill. When I wanted to download a game, the portal I accessed would automatically be able to tell whether my phone was compatible and again bill my mobile account for the cost of the game.
The real value of i-mode is not in its technology, nor is it in its brand name – it’s in the ecosystem that DoCoMo has created around the platform and the noticeable benefits this brought to the mobile consumer experience. This has yet to be recreated by any of the non-Japanese operators who have donned the i-mode brand and is the reason that, for now, i-mode still hasn’t ‘made it over here’.