i-Concier Service in Your Pocket
DoCoMo launched it’s i-concier service in November 2008, along with 22 new handsets, and has apparently managed to gain 1M subscribers as of April this year according to the Mobility Quarterly newsletter [.PDF]. While famously introduced by Vertu some years back, and offered by Toshiba last spring with their Cosmic Shiner model, for $4k a pop, the service allows members to opt-in for a variety of info feeds from weather, transportation and sports to special coupon offers. The system can warn users if a storm is approaching their area or if service is delayed on a local commuter line and will let them know that a favorite TV show will start soon.
With a subscription fee of just 210 yen (about $2 usd) per month, and available on most imode handsets, clearly the service has potential to provide value for end users. However, the platform has also proven to be an effective tool for companies looking to increase their sales and customer acquisition. It was reported earlier this spring [J] that i-Concier helped an apparel company to boost revenues by 4x and improve it’s customer base.
The cool part, for the geeks in us, is the feliCa reader opt-in function. Along with GPS tracking it’s a perfect example of platform services mashing together to provide combined value propositions!