Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Operator Euphamisms: "ensuring customer experience is paramount"

Apparently Orange wants Nokia to work with them to "ensure customer experience is paramount" - the reason? Nokia want to put their own music distribution channel on their handsets which allows MP3 sideloading. Sideloading is exactly what every user does with their conventional MP3 players, so it is stretching credibility to suggest that consumers wouldn't want it available on any phone which replaces a dedicated MP3 player. Certainly it would be nice to have a single MP3 player which gave the option of sideloading, Nokia's channel and Orange's channel all through one interface but methinks this is not what they really mean.

If Orange's music channel really only sells 100,000 tracks a month to the many millions of Orange customers with their millions of MP3-enabled devices, I think Orange should just do the decent thing and take the channel round the back of the barn with a shotgun. This seems proof enough that people won't pay over the odds for music locked to a handset.

Presumably "ensuring customer experience is paramount" is also what AT&T are trying to achieve by crippling the Blackberry 8820 to make the iPhone look better. iPhone might need all the help it can get with its current pricing model though, a picture becoming clearer now the launch dust is settling a little.

The depressing thing is, this isn't news, it's business as usual. I remember being enraged when I discovered a friend's Vodafone-branded K700 could not sideload anything over IR or Bluetooth, or use MP3 ringtones, unlike the Orange-branded version I had. Presumably Vodafone was keen to ensure that the customer experience involved paying £3-5 for a portion of a song transcoded into polyphonic MIDI or a small JPEG. This was in mid-2004, and it wasn't really breaking news then...


Blogger gibtang said...

Mobile phones from Vodafone are crippled? When I first had my hands on the Vodafone Sharp GX 10,15 etc series. I was mad when I discovered that I could not BT the jar files to the phones directly and thought that this was due to the fault of Sharp.

Now I know better, but I should have guess when there was no BT function for the Vodafone Panasonic X60 either.

10:33 pm

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