Thursday, September 27, 2007

Whoops. Disney Cell Phone Bites Dust

This is unfortunate. The Disney Co. is giving up on the Disney cell phone (chock full of Disney content):

Walt Disney launched Mobile ESPN and Disney Mobile last year as mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs... However, Disney failed to make headway with the big-box retailers and find outlets to sell its phones and related services...

Disney will instead license its content to bigger carriers to sell. Earlier this year, it forged a partnership with Verizon Wireless, which is owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, to sell ESPN sports news and video. Disney said yesterday it is considering offering some of its Disney-branded services through a partnership with a major carrier. Disney Mobile included services that let parents locate their kids as well as content such as ring tones and games with Mickey Mouse and other Disney stars...

It seems like only yesterday I was sitting at a Disney stockholder meeting watching John Lasseter roll out a lengthy clip of Cars ... but before John unspooled that chunk of film, Robert Iger got up and announced Disney's big cell phone initiative.

And now, one year and seven months later, a large part of that phone deal is kaput. Marketplace realities are often cold and cruel. Even to big, wealthy conglomerates.

2 comments:

Joe Shelby said...

Well, Steve Jobs kinda stole the thunder out from every other companies cell phone futures. If it's not an iPhone, it's not going to sell.

Anonymous said...

I really liked some of the features of the Disney mobile service, including limiting hours of cell phone use, limiting phone numbers, and getting a record of all calls made. I hope someone else picks this up.

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