All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 29-04-2009, 02:44 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Ovi Store in the US Not Launching With Carrier Billing

Nokia's upcoming launch of the Ovi Store in the US will not, apparently, come with carrier billing – the ability to have any purchases added to your phone bill, as opposed to inputting credit card details into the system. To be fair, no other on-device store has this facility in America, so Nokia aren't being unduly penalised in not having this feature. But it does create another step in the process for the end user, and the seamless experience Nokia were planning on isn't quite in place in that territory. Read on for more.

Read on in the full article.

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Old 29-04-2009, 03:05 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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I think the US phone networks must be insane if they don't take part in this and every other app store. In fact they should be going out of their way to make phone bill payments an option on every online store in the country, including those that sell physical goods.

The SIM card is basically a credit card: it identifies you, lets you pay for stuff, and then sends you a monthly bill for all your purchases along with a service charge and interest on late payments.

Phone networks who want to be more than just "dumb pipes" ought to be jumping at the chance of becoming the main payment method for online software and other products. They could totally replace Paypal and even make inroads into the developing world where phones are far more common than PCs or bank cards.

It's not just about software either: here in Finland you can buy real physical objects with phone bill payments, for example you can buy can of coke from a vending machine by dialling the number on the machine's casing, and many home shopping services and charity telethons take payment by text message in a similar manner. Imagine how much money the phone networks could make if that kind of payment method became routine, it would be such a vast sum that they could probably afford to give actual phone calls away for free as a sweetener.

Phone networks are being given a huge opportunity here to reinvent themselves in a way that will outlast any threats from VOIP etc. If they want to survive they would do well to take this opportunity before someone else takes their place.

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Old 29-04-2009, 03:07 PM
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"Without carrier billing", What the frak is this, COME ON Nokia and US, that's totally ridiculous, how the frak they will manage to do that. Thank (god) I don't live in the US

Yours sincerely, Happy 5800XM owner.

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Old 29-04-2009, 03:18 PM
tym79m tym79m is offline
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Does anyone know if we'll be able to pay for Ovi purchases via PayPal or Google Checkout?
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Old 29-04-2009, 05:05 PM
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Bit odd that Nokia can't just use zong.com (as the most obvious example) - they offer full aggregated carrier billing in the US to 3rd parties. Nokia may have taken a hit with revenue share, but quite frankly they could have passed this onto developers if they'd wanted to while they set up their own arrangements with the carriers direct. I can't believe there are any developers out there who would turn down the temporary lower revenue from this arrangement rather than not have carrier billing at all.

Daft as usual Nokia, just daft. No excuses, especially as zong.com is free to use, and yet is used by both big corps and 1-man co's alike.

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Old 29-04-2009, 05:57 PM
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don't see the problem there. everyone in the us is used to paying with credit card, and credit card billing hasn't stopped other internet services from becoming huge successes. I think it is probably more important for Nokia to bring their devices to the US carriers, then they can worry about their services...

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Old 29-04-2009, 06:15 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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Quote:
No excuses, especially as zong.com is free to use
Zong isn't free to use, they take a 10% cut of every sale.

The carriers then take another 25% to 45% according to Zong, so the total billing system share could end up at 55% of the purchase price. That might make it psychologically quite hard to sell to publishers as a payment method, because most of the money could go on the payment system.

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Old 29-04-2009, 09:52 PM
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Not knowing, I can speculate on several reasons for this:
  • Credit cards are nearly ubiquitous in the USA, and if you don't have one you can use cash to get a card for phone/net shopping from the Seven Eleven.
  • Operators in the USA don't want to share their customer relationship with Nokia.
  • The operators have conditions that make it uneconomic, e.g. minimum revenue. (Like hiring a bar for a party, where you promise a minimum amount of business and if your guests don't spend enough you have to pay the difference at the end of the night.)
  • Did (does?) the US have big problems with premium phone line fraud? That could make the operators reluctant.
  • Nokia wants to increase its market share first, to put it in a better bargaining position.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:47 AM
marcb marcb is offline
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No carrier billing in the US? No problem! But...

For me the problem is not purchasing software for my phone without carrier billing. I do have a problem with purchased games/apps that need to be delivered through the carrier. This is why:

I like games on my phone... I have a bunch... I can buy games like Sky Force and Tilelander online without a problem... pay by credit card, download, install to my phone and I'm ready to play!

But what if I am interested in a Gameloft game? In the US the experience goes something like this:

1) Go to Gameloft.com
2) Select your device, country and carrier. (USA, T-Mobile, Nokia N73)
3) Find a game you want to buy.
4) Click the Buy button and enter your phone number and carrier.

You will be told to "Go to the games category on your phone to buy your game today!"

5) Grab your phone
6) Go to the T-Mobile t-zones page.
7) Go to Downloads
8) Go to Games

Then you find that there are no games available for the N73.
But wait... didn't gameloft.com just show me dozens of games for a Nokia N73?

Congratulations Gameloft... you made Infinite Dreams some money. :P

I will definitely check out an Ovi Store without carrier billing. If they require carrier delivery for purchased content it will be a lot less appealing though.

(I've been hoping N-Gage would become available for the N73 so I could just buy and download on the phone, but it looks like Nokia gave up on N-Gage for the N73.)
 

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