Thursday, June 08, 2006

O2 enjoys early i-mode success

ZDNet UK News writes that "a quarter of a million customers have signed up for O2's i-mode service in the first six months since its launch, three-quarters of whom are now regular users. This rate of adoption made O2's i-mode the fastest-growing version of the service outside of Japan."

According to the article, "the time UK users had typically been spending on i-mode was equivalent to 60 percent of the time they spent on the standard version of the site." Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis believed "there is a "gap in the market" for optimised mobile versions of such sites."

However, he said, "Over time, browsers will get better, and browser-based access to those services will become more prevalent."

O2 is claiming it will "bring in an instant messaging (IM) client, which would theoretically be interoperable not only with the IM clients of rival operators, but also with more traditional clients such as MSN and Yahoo." Bubley remained "sceptical about the mobile operators' claims that their IM clients would be truly interoperable."

Bubley said, "They're trying to link up some walled gardens. A segment of the market will tolerate that, but others will want to jump the wall. Fundamentally, people will get their IM where they do at the moment, from MSN, Yahoo and so on."