Mobile Phone Companies Are Getting Smarter

Now, don’t close out yet, hear me out. I’ve noticed that two mobile-related companies are actually getting smarter, and taking advantage of things that typically only gadget freaks see and care about. I present two instances, Nokia’s minisite, and AT&T’s iPhone 3G unboxing video.

Starting with Nokia, we have the minisite, which outlines a set of 96 limited edition N96 handsets that come in a specially designed numbered box, with a few little extras. The site is positioned in two lights – one, as a charity, where a ‘donation’ of EUR759 (US$1,194) gets you an N96, with the proceeds going to, obviously, the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation, not the wrestlers). The other light is much less honorable.

It’s common knowledge that high-end and hot cell phones usually hit the ‘grey’ online market a few months before they’re widely offered, and that early adopters are not against paying a few hundred dollars extra, just for the privilege of being the first. I myself did this with the Nokia 6620 several years ago, proudly proclaiming to be one of the first 3 people on HowardForums to have the cell phone. The site lets you know that these 96 limited edition N96s will ship out to the ‘charitable’ among us before standard shipments go out, promising the recipients that early adopter status.

Great idea, but there’s a catch – you only get yours when they’ve started shipping to your country. That means that I, in the U.S., would very likely get mine about 6 months after those guys in Europe got theirs – no thanks. However, it’s a definite nice try by Nokia to do some good work and get the fanboys their phones asap.

Up next is AT&T, who’ve craftily put together an iPhone 3G unboxing video. While theirs is obviously one of the most complete ones on the net, it’s not quite there, and it’s very obvious that it’s the first time the company has done such a feat. If you’re not a geek, an ‘unboxing’ is just that – you record the act of unpacking your new gadget either in photos or video, and post it on the ‘net for all the world to admire. They’re silly, but completely necessary, at the same time.

The benefit to AT&T is the hype and recognition. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but kudos.

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

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