October 22, 2008

Nokia Email Service (NES) the Free Beta service, Questions Answered by the Project Team

Today I was offered an invitation to sit in on an informal Q&A with the Nokia Email Service (Beta) Management Team. Via Tangler, we bombarded the team with questions for an hour. the following are some of the items of interest I picked up on during the conversations. This feedback is valuable in helping us to get a vision of what we can expect from this service down the road - thanks Nokia for taking part in this.

Some of the interesting tidbits I picked up on during the Q&A :
At Nokia we believe, even though mobile email has been available for years, the amount of users who use mobile email has been dissapointgly low
- Nokia is shifting into being an internet company, and email is a top priority for Nokia, and at this time our focus is on the S60 platform.
- When a consumer walks into a phone store, and asks to see all the email phones, the clerk pulls out seven qwerty keyboard devices... three blackberries, two nokias, two other phones. today, chances are, the blackberry gets picked quite often... they have a nice email solution with nice phones.
but, most people come into a phone and say "show me your best camera phone"
or your best music phone
or the phone with the longest battery life
or phones for active lifestyle
or phones with GPS navigation
or phones under $100
Chances are for those categories, there's more Nokia's in those categories than any of our competitors.
Nokia will win its generous share of these phones... and once they choose the Nokia, the operator has the opportunity to sell the consumer email on their phone.
Based on feedback, it's clear people want some shorter options for polling and not as many longer ones (for instance, 2 months is an option right now).. we're looking into this.
Through our research, our design is focused on the five mail things: scanning inbox/reading/deleting/reply/composing email. We're spending our resources optimizing those core mobile email functions.
"Through our research, we have found that there are three main obstacles to the adoption of mobile email"
1. discoverability - people don't even know that their phones can get email, even though it's been on the phone for years"
2. those who discover email on the phone have a very difficult time getting it setup and functioning.
3. Unpredictability of cost - users don't have control over how many emails they receive, worry about receiving large bill at the end of the month".
Nokia's strategy is to solve these three problems and to become a leader in the mobile email space. To solve the discoverability problem, our intention is to include email on the phone (preinstalled on the phone, to answer earlier question)., and make it readily apparent on the home screen / initial startup that the phone supports email.

"Our strategy is making email easy to say "yes to" and opposed to the reason someone buys a phone."

See the full Q&A article here

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