Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, May 06, 2021

If it weren’t for the Sidekick, T-Mobile probably wouldn’t still be around on the U.S. wireless phone scene.

What’s especially impressive is how the Sidekick maintains its popularity among the crucial younger demographic, despite a relatively multimedia feature-poor package:

“We thought the [Web browser] would be geared for entertainment, but an overwhelming majority of users are using it to stay connected as well,” says John Clelland, T-Mobile’s VP of marketing.

According to T-Mobile, more than 30 percent of all Web pageviews on the Sidekick are to MySpace.com. What’s more, the average T-Mobile Sidekick customer sends or receives more than 3,000 instant messages per month - well above the average for other phones the carrier sells.

In other words, Sidekick users use their phones as communications devices, whether that’s traditional voice or texting. Web access via mobile is part of the equation — but again, only as a communicative interface. Websurfing for entertainment or information-gathering doesn’t seem to hold much appeal here, despite the supposed tendencies of 18-to-34-year-olds.

This is telling. When the most-wired demographic doesn’t want to use their phone for much else beyond — gasp! — phoning purposes, why should we expect anyone else to want streaming television, videogames and the like on their handsets?

It’s not a question of marking time until the media-delivery infrastructure for wireless bulks up, either:

But T-Mobile’s Clelland says at this point the company has no plans to add multimedia functions, despite the upcoming network upgrade.

“The core notion of the Sidekick is that social people like to stay connected,” says the VP. “We focus on communication, and that is the area we’ll continue to innovate on at this point.”

Keeping this in perspective: T-Mobile remains the smallest of the wireless carriers in the States, so maybe their strategy isn’t ideal for long-term market dominance. But they’re focusing on the basics, and succeeding. The push throughout the rest of the industry toward multimedia bells and whistles could use some tempering based on the Sidekick example.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/06/2021 05:23:36 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink |

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  1. AMP’D OUT…

    According to niche wireless phone service Amp’d Mobile, the reason it’s declared bankruptcy to the tune of $100 million in debts is that business is actually too good for the company’s own good:
    “As a result of our rapid growth,…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 06/04/2021 @ 10:02:58 PM

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