Thursday, September 24, 2009

I am not something that may be owned!

Today Vodafone announced that a new service aimed at bringing together the fixed a mobile web called Vodafone 360 this is to replace Vodafone Live. The aim of the service is to gather all of a customer’s friends, communities, entertainment and personal favourites in one place.

The core of the service is a new personal address book that aims to bring together all of contacts from the mobile phone, social networks and other internet accounts. It will work across a range of handsets and synch automatically with the PC. My fear is that despite collecting contacts numerous studies show that most of us have fewer than five friends. It is this small group that we communicate the most with; so why collate a number of different lists?

Whilst I agree that the aim of Vodafone to bring the most frequently connected people closer to the front I doubt the need for a “proximity algorithm”.

The fight seems to be Vodafone against Facebook, Google and Apple for the trust of the customer. My issue is that for many they idea that they are little more than chattle is something that is unacceptable. Most consumers are anarchists in the oldest sense of the word and operate in informal social groups. Thus any attempt to control this group has as much chance of success as herding cats!

I am full of support for the adoption of LiMo based handsets and the development of a proprietary UI. But am unsure about the difference from the inq Facebook handset that won awards at this years GSMA World show in Barcelona this February.


Shefaly said...

Vodafone overestimates both customer loyalty and customer inertia. The hubris over ownership of customer relationship is also a bit silly. Speaking for myself, for years, my "relationship" has been with my mobile number and with my handset (a relationship that went sour recently and everyone heard about it of course). My relationship with Vodafone essentially is one with the femtocell gateway, and if someone else offers it too, my indifference curve may just embrace that provider. Why on earth would I give all my friends' details to my MNO given all this? No good reason.

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