Friday, November 25, 2005

On the ground: ESPN phone launched

So it's now been announced that the ESPN phone is now for sale online. And what a bad way to do it. As far as I can see, that phone is basically a Sanyo MM-9000 running on the Sprint network, that comes with an ESPN theme and a Java applet that connects to the ESPN site and get various ESPN exclusive content. Big deal. Basically they want people to buy a phone at a premium price, pay more every month, and be locked in their service, just for the privilege of having access to their content.

Here's my view on this. That company has content, and they need consumers to go buy that content. They should do whatever their users want so that we decide to go get their content, not the other way around. This increasing method of trying to do everything they can to restrict, bundle, reinvent the wheel and charge more money is getting very annoying in the cell phone business. Rather than create a whole phone, cell phone service and application, restricting that content to people who gets their whole package, they should offer the service to everyone on a mobile Internet site. If they want to offer enhanced things that can't be done on the mobile Internet, and really really wanted to make an application, then how about giving that Java applet for free and just charging for the actual content. My real problem with this is how they are portraying a simple theme and Java applet as a whole phone and cell phone service.

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