Feeds

O2 serves notice on i-mode service

Only room for one offering with an i?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

O2 has hit the red button on its i-mode service less than two years after it brought the Japanese mobile web technology to Europe.

The Spanish-owned telco says "a limited range of devices has restricted its growth and we don't see that changing". It will support the service for another couple of years, but won't launch any more handsets.

Those with working medium term memories may remember the excitement over i-mode around the turn of the century, with Western telco execs breathlessly detailing how exciting it was to watch Japanese commuters check email, download manga, and groom their tamagotchis.

Striking a Zen-like stance yesterday, O2 declared: "i-mode is part of the evolution of the mobile internet but not the end point."

Perhaps it wishes it had concluded this before striking a long term alliance with NTT DoCoMo to bring the service to the UK in 2005, and then, according to The Guardian, spending £10m to pull in just 250,000 users.

Analysts at Ovum declared today that i-mode was running against the trend in the mobile data market, as "regular users of the internet on mobiles will become increasingly dissatisfied with 'having the meter running' while they surf, and the trend is already moving in favour of flat-rate data tariffs".

At the same time, Ovum points out, customers don't need their hands held while they access the web from their phones. "As AOL discovered in the fixed world, the more internet-savvy users get, the less interested they are in getting access, content, and services in the same package from the same provider."

Let's hope O2's experience with a "next big thing" starting with an i doesn't put it off the rumoured deal to launch Apple's iPhone over here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.