Things we learned this week: high street brands enter mobile

Things we learned this week: high street brands enter mobile


High street brands take on mobile heavyweights

After three years in the pipeline, the Post Office finally announced the launch of its MVNO, offering SIM only, pay monthly and PAYG services. On the other side of the high street, John Lewis announced it will partner with Vodafone to sell mobile phones in its department stores, in a move to target high end customers.

Despite gearing up to enter an incredibly competitive mobile space, both companies seem confident in their approach to the industry. Both brands are not only visible high street entities, but are also trusted by consumers, a fact that both will look to work to their advantage.

The two companies have set their sights high, making bold statements about going head to head with the main operators. It will be interesting to see how John Lewis integrates its staff with the Vodafone brand (and vice versa), as well as how Post Office plans to catch up with the market after admitting to ‘falling 9 months to a year behind’. The question is no longer will we see a mobile offering, but rather will we see results?

Envirofone’s preowned play

Envirofone announced the launch of its online shop this week, enabling customers to buy preowned devices online. The company’s mantra has long centred on recycling mobile phone devices, with the new shop now branching out to selling preowned tablets, accessories and wearables.

The wearables market is a new area that everyone is interested in, but the buzz word here is ‘new’. Whether it’s an Apple Watch or a fitness band, customers are attracted to the novel and innovative qualities that a brand new device can offer.

However, can Envirofone entice the same interest with preowned wearables? The company certainly thinks it can, but ‘second-hand Apple Watch’ rings different to ‘brand new Apple Watch’, and it will be interesting to see which phrase resonates most with consumers.

Telefónica pushes IoT buttons

This week Telefónica launched two new smart buttons containing integrated SIMs to remove the need for a smartphone or PC. The announcement marked the Spanish telecoms giant’s latest push into the Internet of Things market, joining Samsung and Huawei in a move to speed up IoT adoption.

However, the missing piece of the puzzle may lie in collaboration, as Telefónica and Samsung recently demonstrated with their partnership. Working together is key in order to streamline IoT development across the industry, enabling two companies to take advantage of each other strengths.

The connected home is no longer a vague idea in the distance, the technology exists to make it a reality and, in the IoT market, strength in numbers has never rung more true. One company alone cannot achieve results, and while several are working on components of IoT technology, collaboration is necessary to create a seamless consumer experience.






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