I'm camped out at MEX for 2 days, wearing my analyst/blogger and FP hats.
It's been interesting so far - great bunch of folks, an intimate atmosphere, good venue, and some familiar faces. I like the format too - talks or panel discussions with frequent breakout sessions.
I'm here as a guest to take notes formally, so won't be publishing an exhaustive report, but some impressions and thoughts so far:
- Cliff Crosbie of Nokia was excellent talking about the importance of the retail environment, though we weren't clear what percentage of handsets are sold via this channel nowadays. Message: if you want to sell these products, make sure your sales force are knowledgeable, confident, and appropriately incentivised.
- Mike Grenville's break-out session on retail, where we concluded that we need simple pricing, building trust by letting users try things out, and across-the-value-chain incentives so that sales staff benefit from educating customers about mobile data services.
- The Prada phone has sold very well, and (coincidentally) has the strictest ever guidelines for retail display.
- There's a contradiction between wanting openness in all business dealings, and a well-integrated user experience running from content, through handset, to network.
- Big Brother vids generated 50x the traffic for Vodafone live and 10x as much revenue when they were made free to download as when they were sold.
- Vodafone see mobile as a satellite of fixed Internet use nowadays, apparently.
- The address book keeps being mentioned as a gateway to Internet services: score one, Mr Johnston :)
- Telecomms is Apple-obsessed right now, and (I think) ignoring that fact that the products their jealous of (ipod, Walkman) are all single-use devices whilst mobile is general purpose.
- Christian Lindholm: "Skype is interesting because of its intergenerational appeal"
- Contextual UIs which take the environment into account are (a) hard and (b) of questionable value.
All this, and Mr Heathcote lurking in amongst a crowd of on-brand Happy People in Nokia presentation...