I went to Lakeside Shopping Centre the other night. I had to pick up another Mac Pro from the Apple Store. You can never have too much processing power, eh?
For some rather annoying reason, the basic Mac Pro configuration does not come with wireless installed. So whenever I’ve bought one, I have to hang around waiting for the chaps to install an ‘Airport’ wireless card.
So whilst I was waiting, I decided to go for a walk around the mobile stores.
I popped into 3 and had a browse. I was momentarily tempted by the Nokia E71. I’m due an upgrade but so far I haven’t splashed out as yet. I was gratified to see a few folk prodding about with the INQ1 as I arrived.
I didn’t pop into the Vodafone store. I just looked from afar. I didn’t want to be tempted. Every sizable time I’ve been in to one of their stores in the past months, I’ve come out with another contract or similar. I’ve now maxed out my ‘5 lines’ allowance.
I was again gratified to walk amongst the normobs in the T-Mobile store observing the folk having a good play with the G1s on display. The o2 store looked suspiciously empty with folk (couldn’t tell if they were staff or customers) sitting on extremely low seats by various computer terminals. I was going to pop in and ask about sorting out my o2 iPhone 3G sim card. It works perfectly fine when I’m abroad but NOT in the United Kingdom. Interesting. If o2 had the equivalent of a Vodafone eForum team, I’d be right in there, sorting it out. But I just haven’t plucked up the courage to phone their fairly efficient call centre as yet.
Which, dear reader, brings me to the disaster that is Orange.
I walked past one of their stores in Lakeside and simply couldn’t be bothered.
Yes, finally they’ve got some sort of mobile data plan that’s half decent. If you recall once Orange sorted out their mobile data offering I picked up a Nokia N82 from them on a 35/month tariff. But nothing else has caused me to pop back into their shops since June 2008. Nothing. I can’t tell you a single exciting thing about their service offering.
G1 android phone? No.
Funky little Dell mini-Inspirons? No.
I do feel for the Orange folk sat having to flog their services. What other mobile network has actually had to tell their customers this:
So, you’ve seen the iPhone…
but have you seen the competition?
I’m not kidding you. Here’s the link. And here’s the screenshot for posterity:
Blackberry Bold? That, rumour has it, you’re dumping from the line-up because it’s rubbish.
The Samsung Omnia — which would be a brilliant handset if it wasn’t for the sodding operating system (Windows, yeah…). Ah pity tha fooooool.
And the Tocco. Meh. HTC Diamond? Again, let down by the roooobish operating system.
Yes you can pick up an Asus 901 Eee PC for 24 quid a month. Yes they’ll give you a 3gb mobile data stick for 15 quid a month.
But it’s all me-too, me-too, me-too. No leadership. Little in the way of innovation.
I had to admit I did quite enjoy the Range Rover Sport driving into an empty garage in their Art of Smart Blackberry & Orange challenge.
Have a watch. If only their handset and network chaps would come up with something inspiring.
Incidentally, here’s the challenge:
I thought I’d try it out. That’s right, you have to get a table for two reserved in your name at 7.30pm tonight in Le Coq D’Or in paris. Find a date and get there in time.
One assumes it’s early in the morning.
I accepted the challenge. You can have most of the work done by sending a few texts to AQA. £3 and you’re done.
I accepted the challenge and watched the funky video waiting for the guy to take out his Curve on the funky video. He did. I made a ‘smart move’.
‘I need to get Eurostar Tickets’ says the prompt. Do you talk to a travel agent or book direct on Expedia via the ultra shite Orange data connection?
Book online! I’d probably have preferred using ShopQwik myself. But it was a ‘smart move’. I’d be surprised if the folk from Orange or Blackberry had even heard of ShopQwik. I’ll eat my hat if they have.
So I need Euros at the other end (the challenge continues). Do I use the mobimate currency convertor on my new Orange Curve or do I ‘go with what’s in my pocket’?
Currency convertor. On the Curve. I know this one.
Watching the vid I’m pretty impressed. The question is, will the chap’s handset work when he gets to Paris? Unlike my Vodafone Blackberry Bold the other month?
You never know, perhaps Orange will come out with something surprising, exciting and joyous soon…