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Goodbye, i-mode... Hello, iPhone?

O2 UK and Telstra have killed their i-mode service

Michelle Donegan

July 18, 2007

1 Min Read
Goodbye, i-mode... Hello, iPhone?

1:00 PM -- The U.K.'s Telefónica Europe plc (O2) and, reportedly, Australia's Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) have quietly shelved their i-mode services, which they licensed from NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM).

This marks the end of an era for early mobile Internet services. I-mode is the mobile Internet service developed by NTT DoCoMo and launched in Japan in 1999.

O2 sent this statement to Light Reading:

  • We will continue to support i-mode for the next 2 years. However, as part of a regular strategic review we will not launch any new i-mode handsets from July 2007. We will still sell existing i-mode handset models. The service has proven to be successful with rich content and high satisfaction amongst users. However, a limited range of devices has restricted its growth and we don’t see that changing. This environment is being supported by an increasing number of feature-rich devices and tariffs accessing richer content at faster speeds. I-mode is part of the evolution of the mobile Internet but not the end point. We will continue to manage and serve any existing UK i-mode customers until July 2009.

O2 is one of the European operators rumored to be in line to supply Apple's iPhone in the U.K. This definitely looks like a case of an "i" for an "i."

— Michelle Donegan, European i-Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.  

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