Thursday, August 10, 2006

Forrester Research: Why Sony's Mylo Adoption Could Be So Low

Charlie Golvin at Forrester Research ponders at the Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog how many Mylo devices Sony (SNE) will sell. He believes the the target audience is 18 to 24 year olds who “live online.” Golvin writes:

If this is supposed to become your primary communications tool then it needs to be connected all the time. How many of these people are actually within WiFi coverage all the time? Today I’d say it’s essentially zero . . . even students on a fully unwired college campus go off the grid . . . Perhaps agoraphobics or other shut-ins with a wireless home network.

The pricing is ridiculously high given what the device offers, let alone the fact that the target audience is almost certainly already equipped with a mobile phone, MP3 player, digital camera, portable game player, etc. With flat rate mobile data pricing coming down along with huge buckets of text messages, and services like eqo that provide Skype calling from your mobile, the value proposition at this price point looks pretty meager to me. And don’t forget that if you want to store music and other content beyond a smattering you’ve gotta pony up for additional storage — at Sony’s premium for Memory Stick.
Golvin concludes with:
Finally, it’s a completely closed environment — if your buddies are on MSN/Live or AIM, this device isn’t for you unless you can convince them all to move to Yahoo! or Google, nor will clients that access these networks emerge unless they strike a deal with Sony to allow that. This is completely different than the Nokia 770 model, which relies on a true open source environment and has seen a robust growth in applications from garage and other developers. And it’s quite different from the UMPC model — you’ll find that using the web browser on this device you’ll encounter a whole lotta sites (e.g., YouTube) whose content won’t render. Nope, I think mylo will struggle to find an audience of meaningful size and will likely experience some very, very rapid price declines along the way.
Not very encouraging is it?