By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Campbell, Calif. — Master agent American Wireless will provide activation services for consumers who buy Motorola-made 100th Anniversary Harley-Davidson phones at authorized Harley dealerships. The phones, variations of the V60i flip phone, is available in two finishes — chrome-on-chrome or black with leather — and in three technologies: GSM, TDMA or CDMA. It ships with embedded ring tones based on road songs, including Layla, and with Java to download games, applications and ring tones. Attachable accessories include MP3 player, FM radio and speaker phone.
Washington — The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia is expected to rule sometime this summer on the legality of the FCC's numbers portability mandate, which is opposed by the CTIA. Under the often-postponed mandate, carriers must by Nov. 24 let subscribers keep their phone number when churning to a competing carrier. The FCC and consumer groups contend the mandate will spur carriers to improve service and boost competition. CTIA says it'll cost too much — $1 billion — to implement, and there's enough competition already. Yankee Group analyst John Jackson forecasts that in the November 2003-January 2004 period, monthly churn will rise from about 2.5-2.8 percent to 6 percent as consumers take advantage of the newfound right.
Beaverton, Ore. — Indirect wireless-retail salespeople think T-Mobile service is the easiest to sell, with Verizon a close second, InfoTek research found in a survey of salespeople. The other carriers were ranked in this order: AT&T, Sprint, Nextel and Cingular. Salespeople rated the carriers on the following factors: network coverage, variety of calling services, service-plan costs, customer service, target marketing, compensation, handset variety and ease of activation. "In our focus groups, resellers told us that they have a significant influence on customers choosing one carrier over another," wireless research director Adam Guy said. "Carriers need to market their strengths to their channel partners and work to make it easy for them to activate subscribers on their respective networks."
London — Wireless games will generate more than $7 billion in global revenues in 2008, but wireless porn will tease only a limp $1 billion out of consumers, according to Strategy Analytics. Most game growth will come from downloadable Java and BREW games as the developer community turns away from less sophisticated browser- and text-based games, the research company said. In 2008, porn will provide only 5 percent of mobile entertainment service revenues, given the widespread availability of porn on the internet. The company nonetheless sees opportunity in branded dating services over wireless networks.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.