I like you guys, I really do. It seems that a lot of people disagree, but in my opinion you have better service in my area than AT&T, Verizon, or anyone else. That’s why I want you’re new phone, the Evo, to succeed. If you follow my suggestions, I think it will succeed, if you don’t I’m pretty sure it won’t. I predicted (and others can attest) that the Pre was not a good move for you. I think the Evo is a better move, but you’re going about it wrong.
Let me first say I think that the Evo is awesome! Sure, in a few months some other phone will come along and one-up it, c’est la vie, but 4G, a WiFi hotspot, and all the rest (fast processor, GPS, FM radio tuner, I’m not so sure about the kick-stand) make this the coolest phone on the market. But like I said: the phone is great, but you won’t succeed unless you follow these guidelines.
Greed The first thing you need to do is stop being greedy. Yes, I realize that you have an expensive 4G network to build and that takes a lot of money, but if you presume to charge extra for it when people are already not so sure about you and your network then people will simply not but it. They’ll play it safe (or what they think is safe) and go to someone else—even if it means paying more.
You should also not charge extra for the WiFi hotspot feature you will have. Yes, I’m sure there are plenty of people who are willing to pay $30 for it, but I bet you’ll grow tremendously if you charge less. If my calculations are correct, you’re going to charge people $80/month total for a phone… that’s a bit much. True, Verizon and AT&T both have plans that are more expensive, but people aren’t skeptical about them, they are about you.
If you offered all the great things you plan to charge for on the Evo for the same price you offer 3G a lot of people who would flock to you. People love to save money, but they also are willing to pay for what they deem is security.
In short, don’t be greedy with your customer’s money, let them be greedy with their money.
Android 2.2 The second tip I have, upgrade your phone from Android 2.1 as fast as humanly possible and roll out that upgrade the moment you can. Android 2.2 is awesome! While 2.1 is still great, it’s nothing compared to 2.2. Froyo is five times faster! No one likes to wait for their phone (that’s why 4G is a good move for you) why not leverage users’ need for speed even more?
Two for one? Okay, I have to admit that $199 is a great price. If it wasn’t for the very expensive data plan I wouldn’t hesitate to get one, but users have a thing for deals and they love to think they are spending less money (hence coupons and store deals which get you into a store when you actually spend more than you would have if you’d stayed home). Verizon is doing a 2 for 1 deal on the Droid. Users will gladly pay $200 for two phones, but many will hesitate when it comes to a questionable carrier, who charges more than they should, and you have to pay twice as much for a very similar phone than you do from a carrier that is number one the country.
The simple fact of the matter is this: you have an excellent product, but you’re not going to do so well with it unless you make the customer feel like he is getting a deal.
Just some thoughts,