Ben Smith from Mobile Industry Review has given everyone a taster of what it was like to be at the launch event last night for the Sony Ericsson W595 on 3.
Although the dark room and loud music (product launch mainstays) were ticked off and then some, Ben was left a little frustrated at not being able get his hands on a device until the conclusion of the evening. However, now he has it in hand, first impressions are good. The 3 model comes in an exclusive grey and with the feature of being able to bash vids straight to YouTube with one click. He also added, “Particular kudos to the 3 people who have added their brand customisation, but have integrated it really well with the device both in use and style.”
A full review will be arriving shortly on MIR, but for now there is a little promo-vid and pricing info available on Ben’s post.
Reported by iTNews is Vodafone and 3’s struggle in Australia of price points on their respective mobile broadband services.
The latest development is that Vodafone have piled on the reductions by unbundling its ’special pricing’ and offering the$39.95 for 5 GB per month and 1 GB plan to $19.95. These adjustments see a new customer saving about $10 per month in comparison to the previous structure.
Despite this change, 3 still offer the better deal and as iTNews states,
“[Vodafone's] pricing is still only on par – or worse – than that of its rivals, who have been involved in a price per GB war in recent months.”
In the case of 3 they are competing at what can be described as disruptive pricing. They currently edge the battle by providing a GB extra at $39.99 and doing the 1GB plan for almost $5 less.
3! At the 8th annual Mobile Choice Awards 3 bagged the prize for best ‘Tariff Deal of the Year’.
The tariff that brushed aside the competition was 3’s Mobile Broadband offering in a category that featured Asda’s prepay deal, the O2 iPhone tariff, the Virgin Liberty Sim deal and another 3 plan, the Mix and Match. Judges were impressed with 3’s endeavours in the market place in relation to Mobile Broadband,
“3 have focused more than any other mobile operator on taking broadband out of the home and into the big, wide world. If you have a laptop or a mobile phone and you want to access the internet 3 makes it simple, and offers good value. It’s innovative, the pricing is clear, and 3 is dominating the market.”
Needless to say, Johnathon Lutz, Head of Mobile Broadband at 3 was elated, “I’m really pleased about this award as it’s another validation from consumers that our Mobile Broadband pricing is straightforward, flexible and a great value.”
Pats on the back all around!
Mobile Shop’s Technical Markus was a fan of the original 3 Skypephone and when trawling through email yesterday was confronted with a question he felt more than qualified to answer, “Is the Skypephone S2 actually any good?”
Beginning realistially, Markus bestows where one’s expectations should lie when seeking an answer, “this isn’t a mobile phone you can compare to, say, the Nokia N96. It’s not designed to be the ultimate multimedia powerhouse, or be a portable cinema.” Once this is established he continues, “What the 3 Skypephone S2 is designed to do, though, is give you masses upon masses of communication options, and if you judge on its own terms, then it comes out as a superb mobile phone.”
Referring to the Skype functionality as ‘killer’, the thrust of the praise is tied to the recent Skype Out possibilities and the double-up-ability of a handset as a modem. And his final verdict? Well it comes out with the S2 being described as “utterly brilliant”.
Skype’s upgrade to the 4.2 version of their software has prompted a post from Chris Dawson at Tamebay in which he turns his thoughts to their other recent ‘big news’, Skype Out on 3’s Skypephone.
Being able to have a mobile package on which you can call any number in the world via Skype is a significant change, something that is not lost on Chris;
“This is a huge step forward, with other mobile providers attempting to limit VOIP on mobiles, even over WiFi, 3 have taken a brave step in fully embracing Skype.”
This concurs with the thoughts of Andy from VoIP Watch, and is certainly the reaction 3 are hoping to provoke as the market moves forward.
Stefan explains why he picked the Skypephone S2 over the far more expensive iPhone in this revealing post from his blog.
Having just moved house, Stefan found himself without an internet connection and with no phone line. Searching for a quick, cheap and easy broadband solution, he discovered the Skyephone S2, describing it as:
“…A great phone, it keeps amazing me. It has HSDPA, so access to the Internet is really fast. I have got 300 Kbps download speed. It is good enough to watch YouTube videos. The 3G speed and the fact that you are getting it through your mobile phone is really amazing.”
Comparing the £69.99 handset (on a PAYG service) to the iPhone (that an unexpected price drop has reduced to £99 on a £30 monthly tariff), he says that 3’s device offers more of what he uses the internet for than Apple’s gadget. These are email, Skype and internet connection that is possible to hook up to a laptop. iPhone, on the other hand, has only two of these functions integrated.
Where the Skypephone S2 misses out in Stefan’s reckoning is with the built-in browser which he considers only usable half the time. Overall, Stefan’s very happy with his Skypephone S2 and you can read his review in more detail on his blog.
VoIP Watch gets understandably excited by the news that 3 will soon be allowing Skypephone users to make Skype Out calls to another network or landline. Currently Skype calling on the Skypephone is Skype-to-Skype only. 3’s new rates introduces calling packages, the most expensive of which costs £7.99 and allows users to call mobiles or landlines anywhere in the world via Skype.
As Andy from VoIP Watch says, “This is Huge…”
The industry’s premier Voice-over-IP blogger then goes on to talk more about 3’s ongoing commitment to reinventing what customers expect from a mobile service provider:
“3 is by far the mobile operator with the best grasp on where the market is heading. Their data plans are about the best deals around. Their marketing is crisp and message is easy to understand.”
In this fast-moving, modern world, fifteen minutes is just too lengthy a time in the spotlight; far too much to occupy the attention of the next generation of ADD-addled youths who demand instant gratification streamed directly into their grey matter. It’s with this in mind, that we thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for 12seconds.tv.
12seconds is perhaps most easily described as the Twitter of video. You’re invited to record and publish short (12 seconds short, in fact) updates about, well, whatever you like. For example, have a look at Neville Hobson posting about activating his 3 dongle at the end of this post.