MMS sucks incredibly!

I took my 3 year old to McDonalds today, and the Coke cup had a code for a “The Incredibles Mobile Special” – which is something like a ring tone, a background picture or a game for your phone.

To get it, you have to send the 8 digit code + your phone model as an SMS to a certain number, and you’ll receive the content in return.

I did just that, and in came a two part SMS which appeared as “service message”. Would you know what to do with it? Do you have any idea about the costs of clicking on that link? I bet you don’t, nor will the kids who try that. In my case, it didn’t even work (some strange server error), and I had to chose between different GPRS access points.

Dear mobile operators and phone makers – I you can’t get your act together and get all that configuration crap out of my face, you can just forget about ROI for mobile data. If it takes a degree to use it, nobody will. Just hand the phone over to your mom, and let her do the “McDonald’s test” – watch and learn.

(Via Payments News:) Reporting from a Mobile Payments Conference in Amsterdam, Simon Lelieveldt reports:

“Some highlights of an interesting conference in Amsterdam:
1. Consumers are willing to pay for mobile payments, especially for parking, public transport and road pricing.
2. RTL Netherlands receives about 60 million premium sms-es per year; their demand to better payment mechanisms focuses mainly on squeezing the current operator marging of 20-40%.
3. Netsize estimates the EU market for mobile services at 23 billion euro and the Dutch market at 1 billion euro.
4. Mobile operators still are the opinion that pre-paid purses with eurovalue in them, from which third parties are being paid, have nothing to do with e-money, money and need not be regulated. The representatives of those operators that effectively operate the most use mobile payment channel, downplay the importance of their payment channels, while not disclosing any data to back this up.
5. Banks intend to expand the internet payment mechanism Ideal for use on mobile channels as well. But first concentrate on the Internet part
6. Simpay will go live in second quarter of 2005; merchants accepting simpay will be faced with 30% fee to be paid as a merchant service charge.”

I’ve heard rumours about the going live date ever since I left Encorus, but seeing that they agreed on a merchant fee makes it a bit more likely. Still waiting to see their merchant acquiring and brand building strategy, though.

iPhone: confirmed!

Just in via Engadget:

“here’s been a lot of mublings about Motorola and Apple working on a cellphone together, and even an iTunes capable phone Moto was already supposed to roll out. Today, however, the bomb dropped: Apple officially announced some kind of cellphone partnership which would result not just in a Motorola phone that is iTunes capable, but in something users could call a proper “accessory” to their iPod, chiefly one that Apple should have a large part in the interface and exterior design of. The phone should be expected to have fully-enabled Bluetooth (spitting right in Verizon’s eye) and run “mid-range” (i.e. estimated $200-350 US), which we certainly didn’t see coming. As usual, we only know what little bit has leaked from Apple themselves, so we’ll keep you up to the minute with the usual rumors and conjecture as we get it. Until MacWorld, anyway.”

Also, from MobileTracker:

“In true Apple style, Cue [Eddy Cue, vice president in charge of applications at Apple] declined to say whether Jobs will indeed address the phone at that event. “What we’ve talked about is a something that is valuable for the mass market,” Cue says. “It has to be a phone in the middle-tier of the market, not a $500-tier phone. It has to be very seamless to use. And we’re very happy with the results.””


I’ll keep you posted…