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Wireless Web Browser Woes

by Allen Weiss  |  
January 1, 2001
  |  8,407 views

Now that I regularly write about e-marketing, I wanted to experience the emerging world of e-commerce over wireless devices. I like the idea of using my cell phone as an Internet device, and the advertising by Sprint (FON) told me they had just what I wanted.

OK, So I Need to Upgrade.

Not too long ago I bought a Motorola (MOT) StarTAC cell phone to use with my local Sprint PCS service. I love the phone; the service is spotty but ok.

I learned from early research that my StarTAC is not the dual-band phone I would need for a web browser feature. So, I needed to upgrade my phone. OK, sure. This is the price we pay for having new technologies - right?

Upgrading a phone to enjoy the promises of the wireless age is what many of us will need to do. If you have a cheap throw away phone the cell phone companies often advertise, this may not be much of a problem. But if you've spent real money on a cell phone (especially those purchased recently), the prospects of trashing your cell phone for an upgraded version is unappealing.


In light of the disincentive customers have to trash their old cell phones, companies that sell web phones can help make this migration onto the wireless Internet easier by providing incentives to transfer. In fact, these companies have an incentive to do just that.

If people upgrade to phones with web browser and surf as much as wireless phone companies hope, the companies stand to make a bundle off of additional service charges. They could start providing credits to customers who upgrade on their system - even a small token would help take the sting out of upgrading. In short, they could stop thinking short tem and focus more on the long term consequences of having satisfied and loyal customers.

Seems logical, doesn't it? I thought so. So, I decided to go for it.


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Allen Weiss is the CEO and founder of MarketingProfs. He's also a longtime marketing professor and mentor at the University of Southern California, where he leads Mindful USC, its mindfulness center.

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