It's no secret that Apple is considering jumping into the mobile phone business (at least by their trademark filings, anyway) but before doing so, I hope that the company is paying attention to the recent death of ESPN Mobile.
According to a notice posted on the company's Web site, Mobile ESPN will cease providing wireless service as of the end of 2006. The company is changing direction and will adopt a licensing model to "deliver our content experience through another nationwide carrier."
The good news is the Mobile ESPN content you have come to enjoy and expect will soon be available through the service of another nationwide wireless provider. Before December 1, we will contact you with details about the potential future home of Mobile ESPN.
O'Reilly's Bruce Stewart elaborates:
After one year in business and an extensive marketing campaign, Wireless Week cites rumors that ESPN Mobile had only drummed up a mere 10,000 subscribers. Realizing that the model of running a mobile operator without owning the infrastructure is a tricky one (especially with $500 handsets)
It is widely believed that Apple will pursue an MVNO strategy with their iPhone product. A MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) is a company that does not own a licensed frequency spectrum, but instead resells wireless services under their own brand name. Virgin Mobile is the oldest and probably the most successful MVNO. Other domestic MVNOs include Helio, Boost Mobile and AMP'D Mobile.