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EMI CEO: Mobile can learn from Apple

CTIA 2007 — Eric Nicoli, CEO of the EMI Group told the attendees of the mobile convention this morning that the industry should take a cue from Apple and make mobile products and services more attractive to customers.

Apple listens to what consumers want — this should not be their unique privilege, he said. Anyone who has tried to download music on their phones, or even tried to accomplish basic tasks, can understand why the mobile industry needs to start paying attention to their peeps.

Nicoli listed a 3-step test that all consumer products should be able to pass, and that he thought was lacking in the wireless world:

  1. Give them something that is good value for money
  2. Make something that is functional and works on practical level
  3. Make something that is simple to use and easy to understand

12 Responses to “EMI CEO: Mobile can learn from Apple”

  1. Alex Gajano

    Was anyone else offended by Mr. Eric Nicoli’s use of the CTIA forum to suggest industry incumbents follow Apple’s lead? Never mind the obvious fact that iPhone remains unproven, but Apple is neither a listed member of CTIA or even bothered to make an official presence at this event. I can understand why AT&T’s COO whipped out the iPhone during his keynote address since they are the product launch carrier (still a bit gauche), but what does EMI gain? To put this in better perspective… imagine you own a fine restaurant and invite a well-connected friend to enjoy a free meal. Instead of generating buzz for your establishment, your guest instead promotes the new bistro across the street that has not yet opened, and without ever cooking a meal himself gives your head chef “cooking tips” to boot. I’m not suggesting censorship or anything but couldn’t Mr. Nicoli at least MENTION any of the cool new music phones from Motorola, Nokia, SE, Samsung, or LG? All the CTIA press is now focused on Apple’s iPhone (again) and they did not even bother to participate. What a gyp!

  2. I agree with this. As networks continue to give users more choice in how they access (handheld, laptop, wired pc, whatever) the mobile products should look sexier. Lots of products have proven the success of it (Razr, etc.).

  3. Since when has Apple ever listened to their customers? A short visit to the many Apple fan forums will give you a flavour of what their customers want. What Apple excels in is setting the trend and telling customers what to want.

  4. There are a finite amount of brilliant developers.

    The absolute most difficult software engineering challenge possible is making the incredibly complex underlying infrastructure of the digital ecosystem easy, intuitive, and FUN to use.

    Apple has a laser focus on exactly that challenge, and brilliant minds capable of meeting that challenge gravitate towards their peers.

    Apple’s remote has six buttons. How many people do you know that understand and us both function pointers and kerning pairs every day?

  5. Currently in the US, the service providers are the gatekeepers between hardware manufacturers and the customers.

    Apple is trying to break that cycle. By making hardware that is so compelling people are willing to switch providers, it’s changing the game. As phones give way to “communications devices” people will realize that the Blackberry market and the “Watch Live TV and download rintones” are not only two different markets, they are only two of many. Soccer Moms who already own an iPod do not care that you can’t play OGG Vorbis or Xvid files on it, and teen girls who live in IM and SMS world couldn’t care less that it doesn’t support Exchange. It has push e-mail like a Blackberry and plays iTunes.

    …and those two segments rule all of American disposable income above all else.

  6. Robert Stone

    Another concern, in addition to the three listed , is that of quality and reliability. How good will the video actually be? Will there be glitches and break-ups in the signal? What happens if the signal gets dropped during a live game or during a two-way video conference or even while playing an online game? Providing five nines or better reliability will be essential if something like the iPhone is to be a success.

    Many telecom equipment providers – like Kontron, Emerson, etc., are working to provide hardware solutions while others, like Enea ( are working to solve it from the software side.

    By the way, software is becoming the big issue for telecom – especially as the large vendors are turning to open source OS’s, Linux and middleware platforms like Enea’s Element.

  7. Here’s a thought. Let them use their own music collection on their cell phones. Let them generate their own ring tones from their own music collection. Stop disabling a phone’s features so you can charge more for services. Have a single price for all features and stop having individual feature prices drive the monthly bills up to unreasonable amounts.

  8. wouldn’t those three items destroy the telcos’ walled garden business model? Interoperability is the underlying attribute of all three of those items.