DateThursday 5 May 2005

Why Orange may have lost this customer

I’ve been with Orange for 10 years. Now, I’m seriously considering changing to Vodafone.

Why? Is it because Vodafone has all these 3G services, mobisodes, and the endorsement of some bloke who can kick a ball?

No. Absolutely not. It’s because their phone masts have more powerful signals – so you get reception where others fail.

For whatever reason, my Orange phone recently has gone from lousy reception to dire. I can’t get a signal by the window in my home, which makes working from home pretty hard. Calls drop, even in places where I could get them before.

Whereas at Center Parcs last weekend the only people who were able to yak on their phones all the time were those on Vodafone. I spoke to one guy who’d tried all of them (not while there); Vodafone gets better reception pretty much uniformly.

They wasted their money on those 3G licences, didn’t they? Orange especially.

‘1,000 songs is enough’

An interesting factoid over at AppleInsider:

Even though Apple Computer is now selling a version of its iPod mini digital music player with 50% more capacity than earlier models, the company’s original 4GB configuration continues to be the most popular amongst consumers.

The 4GB iPod mini, which retails for $199, is outselling the $249 6GB model by an approximate 3 to 1 ratio, according to sources who monitor Apple’s retail store operations.

On instinct, employees working at Apple’s retail stores will attempt to up-sell consumers from a 4GB, which holds 1000 songs, to a 6GB capable of retain about 1500 tunes. But insiders say the average consumer response is: ‘1000 songs is enough.’

Apparently the 4GB model is also pulling in people who might otherwise buy the iPod shuffle, as it only costs $50 (is that £50?) more.

Interesting: I’ve said previously that I don’t think mobile phones will take over from iPods, because of things like the user interface problem. But the “1,000 songs” mark is clearly one that resonates with people. Quick, how many songs do you have in your CDs and around? Guess – go on. (I’ve got 200 CDs so.. about 2,000, except iTunes assures me I’ve got more like 4,000, so something else going on there..)

My point being that once mobile phones can store 1,000 songs, they’re absolutely going to be contenders. However their other problems – song quality, user interface – will remain.