Posts Tagged 'cellcom'

iPhone is coming

Pack you sleeping bags people – the iPhone will be launched in Israel Thursday at 00:01 hours (night between Wed. and Thu.), in a massive sales operation, with stores open the entire day (Thursday). As you might recall, Apple decided, finally, that the Israeli market is important enough to add us to its worldwide distribution.

Will Tel Aviv act like NYC at midnight Thursday? [picture from ars technica]

All 3 cellular providers in Israel have jumped the iPhone wagon of course, and rumors say that each committed to selling 100,000 units a year – meaning 300,000 combined. Now, Israel cellular penetration is about 106% right now, which means that Cellcom, Orange and Pelephone will have to offer lucrative programs and trade-in deals so consumers will give us their current 3G phone and buy a new iPhone 3GS.

The companies are keeping the tight ‘no-comment’ policy, probably governed by Apple, and refusing to release any information about the iPhone – prices, programs, marketing, etc – but that hasn’t stopped the local eco-system from working hard over the past 3-4 months, developing apps for anything from news, bulletin boards, finance, radio, GPS and more.

I for one, am curious to see how the 3 providers will differentiate their iPhone operations, and how the market will behave. Although the iPhone officially hits Israel in 3 days, there are some 60,000 devices here, jail-broken of course, with Hebrew support – which pretty much cover the early adopters and gadgets lovers. Selling 300,000 devices a year is a tough task, and one thing is for sure: it’s gonna be an interesting year.

Orange StartApp – iPhone Contest

iPhone party

It’s no secret that Apple’s iPhone has revolutionized the mobile scene, in all three fronts: device makers, cellular operator and consumers. In Israel there are some 50,000 iPhones, all purchased abroad of course – the local Apple distributor, iDigital, is not bringing the coveted device.

In July 2009 the 3 largest cellular operators (Cellcom, Orange and Pelephone) in Israel announced they’ll be bringing the iPhone to Israel, and since then the country is in mini-chaos. Rumors are flying, prices are still un-known, apps developers are in high demand, marketing campaigns are on hold and everyone are waiting to see when will the iPhone hit the stores and at what cost. Presumably each operator committed to selling 100,000 devices a year (300,000 together), a serious amount – considering Israel’s best-seller, Nokia’s N95, sold 150,000 devices in 18 months. Since Apple are overseeing the marketing campaign, the main differentiators in my opinion will be the overall packaging and service – which operator will create the best eco-system around it to support its iPhone users.

Orange will kick-off an interesting contest next week, Orange StartApp, in which 3 winning developers will receive 10,000 US$ each and 1 of them will get a full Orange campaign to promote its iPhone application in Israel. The contest will start Monday Sep. 21st for 3 months (until Dec. 21st), and any developer with an account at Apple Store can submit his/her applications in 1 of 3 categories: Entertainment, Business and Location and Local Content.

Orange definitely took a step ahead of the pack, by harnessing the power of the developers community – one of the iPhone’s key success factors. The operator that will build a bigger eco-system around it, will probably win more votes, not to mention ‘calling shot-gun’ on the local developers community. With Apple controlling every move of the launch, the 3 operators have very little space to navigate and diffrentiate themselves – Winter is gonna be very interesting, that’s for sure.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Learning to speak Android

Something good is happening to Israel in the social media scene. Twitter is getting A LOT of screen time, and even yours truly got his 30sec of fame in a recent TV piece (1:25min from start and again, later on) trying to uncover the mystery behind the micro-blogging platform.

Advertising agencies and consumer goods companies cannot ignore the stats and grown interest, so both started to incorporate social media aspects into their traditional and interactive campaigns. A month with Nokia N97, courtesy of, did bring plenty of attention and social media coverage for Nokia Israel and the N97, but most reviews weren’t that favorable, and in my opinion might damaged the launch of the device.

But enough of Symbian, because I have roughly a week to learn a new language – Android! I’ll be switching to a Samsung Galaxy (aka i7500) within a week or so, part of a local campaign run by Samsung Israel, Cellcom (largest cellular provider in Israel), TheFusion, McCann Digital and Nir Refuah of course, to launch the first Android device in Israel. Details of the campaign are still sketchy, but I do know it will be a 48 hour contest (vs. another local blogger) during which I’ll have to send status updates (#samsungalaxy) every 30min or so. To keep me busy (and awake) during those 48 sleep-less hours, Samsung will pamper me with various treats and surprises. Good thing I haven’t found a job, yet… 😉

So, couple of necessities before the campaign starts – help appreciated (Thanks in advance!):

  • Twitter app for Android
  • Facebook app for Android
  • Video streaming app for Android
  • VOIP app for Android (Fring doesn’t support Android OS)
  • Must-have Android apps – update: found Android Market, but if you have specific suggestions, feel free to comment.
  • Tips and tricks

Will keep you posted how this develops.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

My Nokia E71 Story

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been experiencing some problems with our new Nokia E71 device. It appears that the snooze option at the alarm clock is ‘unreliable when phone is switched off‘. We learned that the hard way, twice, by not waking up in time in the morning. The only thing I wanted to verify is whether the problem is model-related (all the E71’s in the world) or device-related (mine only). There’s a simple way to sort it out – by giving me a new device.

As a social media evangelist, I’ve decided to put the tools and services I know to the test, as I’ve done in the past. My cellular provider, Cellcom, received low score for not monitoring this space, failing to reply to my updates and twits. After 3 separate visits to the lab, trying to figure out what the problem is, a friend suggested I’ll ring Amos Shapira, Cellcom CEO, who in an effort to imporve customer service opened up a dedicated line for customers with a complaint. Recently they started showing some improvement, as my friend Hillel outlines.

As for me, during my 3rd visit to the lab on Tuesday, I was contacted by one of Cellcom account manager, as my number is a business account. When she heard I’m at the lab, she rang the lab manager, and 20min later I had a new Nokia E71 (that I’ve asked for from the beginning) in my hand. The next day a Cellcom rep called me back, following the voicemail I left at Amos’s phone, asking if the problem was solved with the new E71 and if there’s another device I might consider.

So, although it took 3 trips to the lab and numerous calls to the customer service, I finally got my request. I hoped Cellcom would have reached me earlier, as I was pretty annoyed during my previous visits to the lab, and my updates proved it, but hey, you can’t have it all.

BTW – the problem still happens. If you set the alarm clock and shut off your phone for several hours (like at night), the snooze won’t work. Changing sim cards hasn’t solved it, but I will try setting the alarm without any sim card (same as the lab technician did in my 2nd visit – and obviously the snooze worked fine) and let you know the result.

And here’s the proof for Nokia developers: set the clock for 07:30 and shut the phone off. Come 07:30 the alarm rang, I hit ‘snooze’ and the phone should have ranged again at 07:35. It didn’t. When I turned the phone on (manually, not the alarm) you can see the time is 08:04, but the phone thinks it’s 07:35, which means ‘snooze time’. A work around is leaving the phone on but putting it at ‘flight mode’, which shuts down all connections (cell/wifi/gps). If you hear of a possible solution, give me a heads up.

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.