Tuesday, May 23, 2006

JupiterResearch: Helio and Koreans

Julie Ask posts at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs about T-Mobile, Helio, Tom Cruise and Koreans living in the U.S. Kind of all over the map, but Ask writes that the Korean Times reported "unconfirmed rumors that T-Mobile is pressuring its dealers not to sell Helio."

She states it's "easy to understand at first - comparable target market. There's a lot of overlap in target audience though T-mobile handsets are cheaper, and there's obviously a huge selection of them. But, Helio has video and music. T-Mobile suffers a bit from not having a 3G network yet."

She notes that Sky Dayton (of Earthlink fame) and Tom Cruise are good friends, which is why Cruise was popping photos with his Helio handset at the MI3 movie premier. Her colleague also told said that "T-Mobile has 35 percent share of S. Korean mobile subscribers in the US." Ask states:

Helio is targeting Koreans living in the US, but their main focus is young, heavy data users more broadly. With their current pricing, they are not going for the lower end of the market. Anyone buying on handset selection and pricing - handsets or service - will go with T-Mobile. Those two criteria are 2nd and 3rd on the list for consumers. Top of the list though is quality of coverage at home. Helio is on an excellent network. I haven't had a chance to try a handset, but if they can hold up their half of the connection, Helio could beat T-Mobile on quality of service.
Then common sense takes hold and Ask concludes that "T-Mobile has more than 20 million subscribers in the US, and they are one of the largest mobile operators globally. How worried can they be about a company looking to hit a million subs a few years out even if they are heavy data users?"