Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Battle of the brands

With the impending launch of the new Android phone with T-Mobile, most information I have read mentions little of T-Mobile ... sounds familiar? Well I wonder if we are starting to see the start of the end of the mobile networks branding up devices in the way they have. If you buy an iPhone, apart from a SIM from your network, there isnt much on there that makes you think anything other than its an Apple product. I wonder if the mobile market is about to go this way. The Google mobile platform is going to be about Google search, maps, mail, calendar and so on ... doubt there will be space for the operators services on there. If Nokia can get over the fact it has allowed operators to butcher their devices in the past, they may be able to control their own future a little more. So, should this be a reason why Microsoft and Yahoo! should combine to hold their own in this market? I think this is inevitable that consumers will go and buy the product rather than the network. It's a little like going out and buying a PC then deciding which ISP you want to use to connect to the internet. The only real restriction is that the operators are holding exclussive rights to the devices in certain markets, so choice is a little restricted ... well right now it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MoMoLondon back for Autumn

Monday saw another great MoMoLondon, back for the autumn and this time we put together a panel to discuss all things regarding mobile platforms. The theme was subtitled 'Too much choice or Hobson's choice' ... which is a good summary of how it feels right now in the top end phone market. Choice is always an interesting concept to dig into. In most things in life, where there is great choice, you find people tend to pick the most convenient and easy option. However this doesnt mean the best choice was made. This could be the case for mobile platforms. Companies like Apple own most of the loop from hardware, software, delivery and product shop. Therefore they pretty much own the experience. So to compete do you need to cover this whole experience. Only time will tell, but Nokia have tried in the past with their music store but with network operators having a big say over what gets delivered on the handsets is this really going to work. It seems the only way is for a big brand to force through change (for the better or worse) rather than wait for people to make the choice.

On Monday I didnt really get much chance to absorb everything that was said (as an organiser you have to make sure things run smoothly ... well smoothish). But a big take aways were the big difference in opinion when it came to which platform was preffered between mobile web and native applications, but also the opinions about why and how standards are going to help or hinder future innovation. Some of the audience remarked that, like the web brought about standards through the stuborness of some browsers to just conform to standards and not get swayed by others. It will be interesting to see if this works in the mobile world, change is slow and compatibility with legacy is going to be harder to cope with than in the desktop world.