IDC has released a research report examining the consumer mobile segment that finds that DoCoMo’s i-mode platform has “the qualities needed to combat the accelerating downward spiral of ARPU for cellular services.” The research firm concluded that, as a mobile market matures and its subscriber base reaches saturation, mobile operators begin to feel the creep of stagnation and commoditisation, accelerating the downward spiral of ARPU. A new IDC study, titled “Follow The Yellow Brick Road: The Consumer, The Carrier, and The i-mode Platform” examines the roadmap of NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode platform and how emerging mobile non-voice applications have used it as a vehicle to enter the mobile market.
While we wholeheartedly agree with the findings, the results in practice have been highly variable at best. Only Bouyges Telecom in France has had any real success with i-mode while several markets — including Italy, Germany and Israel — have seen abject failures. The devil is in the details and if you don’t execute well and account for structural differences in the market, i-mode may not be the goose that lays a golden egg… it might just be a goose. Full IDC comment via: IT Wire.