It’s been another week in which tumultuous change feels as if its just around the corner, here is our look at the key points from closing doors to a mothership:
Doors close on Phones 4u
Following last week’s mudslinging from all those involved in the Phones 4u collapse Monday began exactly where Friday had ended with claim and counter claim about who exactly had been responsible for pulling the plug on the retailer. This was followed by the announcement that 362 Phones 4u stores were set to close leaving 1,697 employees without a job. As we continue to analyse what led to the collapse of one of the UK’s most well-known retailers it’s important to give a platform to those who have been directly caught up in this mess; the Phones 4u staff. We spoke to a huge number of the retailers employees this week and their strength of feeling was clear to see. Phones 4u was obviously a business that workers felt a strong connection with, which will only make the transition for those who are moving to a new EE or Vodafone store more complex considering the bitterness that has permeated this whole saga.
A square in the sea of same
It’s always exciting to see something that breaks from the norm from a product perspective and BlackBerry’s new phone ‘the Passport’ certainly does that. Its square design makes it looks unique when placed alongside a regular ‘candy bar’ phone, but whether that is the key to changing the fortunes of the ailing manufacturers is a bit of a stretch. The brand is returning to its core ‘mobile professional’ demographic with this latest device and is attempting to provide them with exactly with what they need. BlackBerry’s core strengths lie in its reputation for security and seamless integration with professional IT systems. If the manufacturer can convince businesses that it is back to being number one in those terms that will be more persuasive than any design shift. No-one can deny that BlackBerry have made a bold statement with the Passport and it will be interesting to see if the business community does indeed buy into the idea that squarer is better.
Big ship, little ship, 'Mothership'
Major partnerships with iconic venues is something that the mobile industry has always been very keen on from London’s the 02 to Manchester’s Phones 4u arena. Getting the brand name tied to music or sporting stadia has always been high on the agenda for mobile phone related marketing departments. This week EE was showing off its partnership with Wembley announcing that the national stadium would act as the network’s ‘mothership’: The place where new technological advancements would be tested and launched. It definitely won’t harm the operator to be connected with the venue and if the relationship goes on to have the same level of association that the 02 has with the North Greenwich Arena it will surely have been a good investment. EE has even gone as far as lighting up the stadiums iconic arch according to peoples moods, presumably that means it’ll be a dull grey whenever England are playing at home!