Feeds

O2 serves notice on i-mode service

Only room for one offering with an i?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.