Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Who Will Create the "Conference in a Pocket" Phone?

location based services

portable navigation device

The rumored Google Phone will have to carve out a niche beyond "smart phone" or "feature phone" to get any serious traction. Perhaps it can create a new dual-mode position, since nobody really has that one nailed down yet. It might be a stretch to create a position based on "location based services," since it is doubtful most people will understand that.But some new developments elsewhere suggest it might ultimately be possible for somebody to capture a new "conference in my pocket" position. Webex now has created an iPhone compatible PCNow capability, opening a bit of a wedge for conferencing. And iotum says it will develop a conference app running on BlackBerry and Facebook.The point is not simply the size of the niche, but the ability to create a buyer reason to use one service or terminal instead of others. There are lots of devices that handle email. But BlackBerry created and "owns" the "email in your pocket" mental niche. That doesn't mean only the BlackBerry can do this, but that the mental position creates a compelling reason to buy and use a BlackBerry even though other smart phones can do so. The iPhone's position still is developing, though the initial positioning is as a fashionista device.The point is that the creation of a compelling mental positioning allows a device or service to stand out in a crowd of alternatives that arguably can provide the same basic functionality. A "conference in your pocket" device can provide the same sorts of marketing value.

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