Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flash: European phase out I-Mode starts

Speculation was around for some time, that i-Mode was to be phased out in Europe. Early in the week O2 in the UK announced that it will not order new i-mode mobiles any more. Although there is no official press release, the news transpires that Dutch telco KPN will carry i-mode until 2013, but will not order new i-mode telephones from now on.

The service will be phased out in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. About the fate of i-mode in other European countries nothing is known, but it looks logical that these services like in Italy and Greece will be phased out before 2013. i-Mode has been developed by the telco DoCoMo in Japan and was seen by KPN as a new incentive for the mobile world and as a life saver for the company, which was in dire financial trouble due to the licence costs for the UMTS. I-Mode was introduced in the Netherlands in 2002, but never was a success. An analysis of i-mode will be published in August 2007.

(The Samsung i-mode mobile for the KPN i-mode service was photographed by Jan Minnaard. The device will be an exhibit in my museum of content related artefacts as soon as the owner changes devices.)

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