Friday, June 23, 2006

Will variety act boost iMode's European audience? writes that "O2's iMode mobile portal service now has more than 250,000 customers, after six months of operation, and it has 150 content providers across 13 genres. However, experts were divided over whether the service will eventually be as popular as O2 predicts."

Mark Blowers at Butler Group thought "iMode provides a user-friendly service, which makes it quick and easy to access content." He said, "O2 could get traction that way, but it must be competitive with other ways of [accessing] content from the internet. If the service is cheaper or provides content everyone wants [then it could take off]."

John Delaney at Ovum said, "It falls between the traditional fairly closed content-centric portals [like O2 Active and Vodafone Live] and the internet. It has potential for people who are not just interested in accessing the internet but need guidance and support, and it provides an optimised version of [some sites] such as eBay, which people find attractive."

Delaney denied "the coming .mobi domain for mobile sites would harm iMode's prospects." He believed ".mobi merely presents one of many ways to adapt content for use on mobiles."