The Real Secret of i-mode's Success

Much is made of the “lessons of i-mode” and all the things that DoCoMo did to make it successful. One thing that often doesn’t get the credit it deserves is the revenue split between the operator and the content provider, which is far better for the developer than most deals with carriers. DoCoMo originally kept just 9% of the revenues, and new i-mode licensee O2 says it will offer an 86/14 split, making it one of the highest in Europe. Many of the i-mode “lessons” carry a common theme of encouraging content providers and developers to make content available via i-mode, with the expectation that if there’s appealing content, people will use the service. While using standards and technologies that are relatively easier to develop for might help, nothing speaks as loudly as money.

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