by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 12th 2007 9:53am
Having already failed spectacularly (twice!) to offer mobile phone service in the US, Disney has apparently decided that Japan is the perfect place to try out its MVNO option for the third time. It's going to use Softbank's mobile network and try to convince people it's worth totally changing mobile phone service providers because (wait for it...) its "famous characters" will be associated with the handsets, and Disney movies will be available for download. Has the company has learned nothing from its failures in the US? Obviously, Japan is a very different culture -- especially when it comes to mobile services -- but if the entire differentiator is Disney's characters and movies, why not partner with all of the mobile operators already dominant in Japan? Getting people to completely switch providers just so they can be associated with Mickey Mouse seems like a pretty flimsy business plan. Success stories in the mobile operator market in Japan have usually centered around offering a wide range of more useful applications or by providing cheaper, better services (or better phones). Fantasia downloads hardly seems likely to wow the Japanese market.
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