Posts Tagged 'orange'

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.

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.

Orange Shop Press Conference

Monday was my first press conference, as Orange (one of Israel’s cellular providers) invited journalists and bloggers to attend its Orange Shop launch – the first in Israel.
Over the past year Orange has changed its business strategy from a cellular company to a communications company, offering the full range of services: mobile, internet (ISP) and phone (land line). Orange Shop TLV is the first one to open, with 7 more planned for 2009 (overall cost of $2.5m).
In the press conference Orange CEO, David Avner, had this to say:

Orange is leading the way in terms of customer service and working tirelessly on rising the standards, cultivating customer loyalty and seeking ‘the next big thing’ that would provide value to our customers.

How I came to be at Orange press conference?
My friend Eti from Blink has invited some bloggers to the launch, which was an excellent decision, in my opinion – the days in which press conferences were for journalists alone are over. The content is being written by anyone, and any company, specifically a consumer oriented one (like Orange), must be present at the same space its customers are – facebook, twitter, flickr, qik and the others. Microsoft were the first to do so last year, at Tech-Ed 2008, when they invited bloggers to the journalists’ sessions, including high profile interviews with Microsoft executives.

Joining the conversation
The natural impact of having bloggers at the conference is that exposure was instant. All of us started twitting about it, taking pictures and shooting live video – and comments came shortly after. I’m not an Orange customer so can’t comment, but most of the replies I got regarded Orange’s customer service and not the launch of the shop.
This is why it’s important to have a corporate voice in the conversation. Orange brought bloggers that started a discussion online, but no one was there to respond, like in Comcast, Ford or JetBlue for instance. Now that twitter has become a house-hold name, and everyone are jumping the wagon, having a corporate voice that is part of the discussion is even more important.

Orange Shop
#orangeshop on twitter
Qik video from the press conference (thanks to Yarin)
Pictures from the press conference (thanks to Ilan)
Press coverage: Ynet, walla, newsgeek (congrats to Niv and Yaniv for opening newsgeek!)
It’s a followers gameOrli Yakuel at Themarker about Twitter.

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.