Wednesday, December 12, 2007

DN-phone. Not iPhone or Gphone.

Or "DN-mobilen" in Swedish. The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter today launched the DN-phone. Read the article (in Swedish) here.

In summary; it's a Nokia phone (pity it wasn't a SonyEricsson) with a subscription from the Swedish operator Telenor. Sold by Dagens Nyheter, and only to current subscribers of the paper version of the newspaper.

The converged arena
So - what's this? A newspaper acting as a mobile operator? Basically that is what the proposition looks like in general. That it is actually a "real" operator behind it is not that important.

This is another example of the converging and new media landscape. That newspapers have a web site is an old example of this. Today you also see the next steps of this, like newspapers being a provider of blog spaces. Also to a large degree you see interaction with readers being enabled. As one example comments to articles are often enabled.

Mobile services are not new either. Mobile versions of newspaper web sites are there. You can subscribe to newflashes via SMS or MMS. And you can send in news via eg MMS and get featured in the newspaper.

This is however the first time I have seen a newspaper phone being marketed!

The packaging
The neat lesson from the DN phone story is how an existing product (phone+subscription) is modified slightly, rebranded and brought to market through a new channel. They have essentially applied a new business model and go-to-market model for an existing product, and with that opened up a completely new part of the arena.

A lesson similiar to the one about repackaging of candy cars.

The reaction
Apparently the interest was high enough to generate a large number of calls to the switchboard. Will be interesting to see the next chapter on this story.

The numbers
The subscription costs SEK 199 per month ("call-for-all") and must be kept for at lest 12 month.
The same phone with similiar subscription (SEK 199/month and minimum 12 month) would cost SEK 1170 if bought from Telenor directly.

With the DN option you basically get the phone for free (save SEK 1170) and you get free access to the mobile version of the DN web site (
It was only a few days ago that DN also launched an improved version of their mobile site. What I like the most with it is how they use the vertical scrolling in the browser to display comic strips. Try it! Might not be new, but it was the first time I saw comics in the mobile in this way.

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