Monday, January 24, 2005

Cliche Reading & Upselling Smartphones...

So, this weekend I started reading Crossing the Chasm, thanks to the advice of my colleague. The book has been around a while, and is a staple of the IT/Marketing community -- just the same, the book rocks. Highly recommend if you want a clear picture of the market segments and technology adopation life-cycle divisions in the IT industry ... who jumps on the bandwagon first (innovators & early adaptors), where the big cash is (early & late majority), and who simply to avoid like the plague (laggards) .... good stuff .... I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to read it, but just the same .... which leads me to ....

Upselling to Smartphones .... I was in my carrier's store over the weekend looking at their new offerings (minus the Nokia 9500 ... seems like the same phones from 2 years ago). I asked the sales assistant about the Nokia 9500, "What can this phone do?" Now, don't be afraid, I'm the phone master :-) ... but, I wanted to see what she told me. She simply said, "It has 802.11b and Bluetooth, plus a keyboard for easy typing...." -- that was it. Wow, I was sold. There seems to be NO training of sales assistants in such stores (don't worry, in the US, it's even worse -- when I asked "Which phones have Symbian on them, the salesguy just gave me a blank stare -- not having a clue).

Which is my point -- there seems to be NO effort on the part of the carrier to up-sell to Symbian/Smartphone phones .... for many of the executives, it's all about voice ... these old timers should be regulated to the dust bin of history, and not "leading" wireless companies. I *do* understand voice is their main money maker, but once the market is saturated (as it is in most countries already), you can't really "earn" more -- you only have 24hrs a day, so in theory, nobody can talk MORE than this (plus, with a population limit, you can generally go over that).... but with DATA --- Ooh, those beautiful 1s and 0s clicking off and on -- you can really rack things up. But, what data is gonna be racked up on an old Nokia monochrome screen with a "GPRS" connection? Really, it's silly ... the carriers should be pushing Symbian/Smartphones like mad -- a nice (and simple) marketing scam might be:

"Sign up for Package XYZ (voice minutes), PLUS GPRS/EDGE packages, and get this super duper Nokia 6630 or 9500 for price XYZ -- with these phones, you can DO: A B C D E F G .... simple. But, it's as if they make no effort at all.

The key to driving data services is first having people in the market who can USE them ... sure, if you don't have applications or services, nobody can use them .... however, if you "build it" (ie... customer base), they will come (content providers) .... it all seems logical to me ... which is why I probably don't run a carrier.

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