Sunday, August 28, 2005

O2's Dual Portal Strategy

Courtesy of i-mode Business Strategy comes this commentary from OVUM that analyzes O2's plan to launch NTT DoCoMo's i-Mode service alongside its existing O2 Active portal service in the UK, Germany and Ireland by Christmas. According to Ovum, O2 "will differentiate the two portal brands by pitching i-Mode as a more sophisticated, Internet-like service for people that want more than generic infotainment."

Ovum is not convinced about the dual approach and offers O2 its 2 cents on what it believes will and will not work. On O2's positioning that i-Mode devices and services will be more tightly coupled to maximize the user experience, Ovum advised:

This is far more persuasive, but the impact of the message will depend on the line-up of devices that O2 can get in place in time for a Christmas launch. So far, there have been few firm indications on this front, and a good selection of devices will be a critical success factor. The lack of handset availability hurt KPN when it launched, and although this has since improved, Wind's i-Mode subscriber targets for last year were damaged by a shortage of i-Mode devices in the all-important Christmas season.