Thanks to expert bloggers like Russell at The Mobile Technology Weblog
, I have a fairly good understanding of why MMS has failed so miserably. To get consumer adoption of new technology, you usually need exactly the right combination of a few things, including marketing. To Vodafone's credit, they did that part great, as usual. After seeing that cool ad with David Beckham and Michael Schumacher, I and most of my friends wanted pxt-capable cameraphones. Finally, about a week ago I got my first cameraphone
, and what happened when I tried to send a pxt?
Nothing. It's like the MMS got sucked into some mysterious black hole. I had lunch with my friend later on, and she said that I actually was supposed to configure my phone with Vodafone first, because she found the same thing when she got her Nokia 6260
from Hong Kong. She took it to a Vodafone shop, where they told her she would have to pay if she wanted them to set it up for her (seeing as the 6260 hasn't been officially launched here by Vodafone yet). Well, we'll just see about that... She went home and figured out how to do it herself from the Vodafone NZ website. However when my brother tried to do the same thing for our phones (he also got the MPx220), for some reason it wouldn't work, because obviously there are no instructions in existence for setting up MMS for your Motorola MPx220 on the Vodafone New Zealand network. So I've decided to live without MMS for now. Besides, I can transfer photos from my phone to my computer and then email them from there for zero cost, so...
It's like ringtones - why would I ever buy ringtones for $1 a pop when I can put any MP3s I like on my phone's internal memory and just use those? Even if my phone didn't support MP3 ringtones, I could still put my own midis on there to use instead. One thing's for sure - I'm not going to pay for mobile content that I can get even more easily for free.
Another great example of why MMS sucks: my friend took a photo on her 6260 and sent the pxt to my other friend. She never got it. The end. It's great to know that you've got a completely unreliable form of communication, isn't it?
It's a bit sad for me, having all those extra functions on my phone that I'll probably never use because the GPRS charges will be absolutely ghastly (especially on a prepay!). For a country that's supposedly technologically advanced, data connection prices are still prohibitively exorbitant. Let's not get me started on the ridiculous situation of broadband in NZ! You can either have decent speeds with a bandwidth usage cap, or a severely handicapped speed with no bandwidth cap. We've got the latter. I guess I can't complain though - at least we don't have to use that 56k modem anymore!