Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mobile email - a killer?

I just spent about 1 hour trying to find an answer to a relatively simple question: what email options are available on the XDA (a type of PDA) from O2 and how much do they cost?

I still don't have an answer.

There are two types of information available on the Internet. Vague generalisms on the O2 websites ("supports email") or hard-tech info from gurus in the various forums that ordinarily are best avoided by the rest of us. A lot of the forum discussion is of ROM upgrades, which gives you an idea about the level of tech they are talking about.

The XDA product site doesn't mention services anywhere. It is a detailed technical description of the hardware. Worse still, when eventually I found a reference to the Blackberry Connect option, which theoretically allows an XDA to behave like a Blackberry (for email), I was linked to a site that doesn't feature the XDA. It is mentioned under a link "other devices" and merely repeats that this option is possible, but gives no more information than from where I started.

To obtain further information, the site suggests visiting an O2 shop or filling out an enquiry form. We all know that the former isn't going to produce fruit and is an absurd way of finding out information. Why should the shop sales staff have information that's not available online? Filling out a form is even less likely to lead to an answer. I did it anyway and haven't received a reply.

At a recent O2 sales conference, a sales guy lamented that not enough people seem to understand the benefits of mobile email. It isn't clear that O2 does either.

Mobile email is not a killer app and stands no chance of becoming one. It's dead on arrival.

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