Update: Based on a phone chat with a JAJAH exec about 30 minutes ago, I've added a section pinpointing a market niche where JAJAH Mobile might well be successful. And look for a more detailed presentation of JAJAH's rebuttal in a new post I'll be making in the next day or so.
OK, first the details: announced yesterday, the JAJAH Mobile Suite will enable free cell-to-cell calling among JAJAH customers with Symbian and Java-based J2ME phones.
I have to admit that sounds kind of cool. If I had such a phone, I would certainly try it.
Now before JAJAH- a company with a highly proficient promotional apparatus- gets some gullible reporters to transcribe what a major move this is, this non-gullible blogger's here to tell you why JAHAH Mobile Suite doesn't really matter in the marketplace.
Update: First, there's one niche where JAJAH Mobile has the potential to matter: international calling from mobile phones. Because these calls are routed over the Internet at free or very low rates, that's plainly disruptive to pricey international calling plans from traditional cell carriers. But with the exception of this segment:
JAJAH Mobile Suite won't be a competitive threat to cell because:
1. Most cell users are already in the midst of their service contracts, and aren't going to stop using the alloted minutes they are paying for. Even if JAJAH's on their mind.
2. Cell users on discounted minutes (who must pay comparatively lofty per-minute rates during peak hours) are not likely to be the same technology early adopters that will ditch it all for JAJAH.
3. Since non-early adopters tend to associate with other non-early adopters, they aren't likely to know other JAJAH users they can actually use this service with.
4. Cell power users with pricey plans are, generally speaking, of a demographic that's more friendly to innovation. Yet since they are already set with their calling plans, why would they want to change their way of calling?
5. Power users might tend to look down on these services as promotional-driven rather than function-driven.
JAJAH Mobile Suite won't be a competitive threat to VoIP because:
1. Most VoIP users do not sign up for mobility reasons. They want that integrated desktop functionality that comes with VoIP.
2. Most mobile VoIP WiFi phones work with existing VoIP accounts. As a result, these devices and the services they offer are mere adjuncts to existing VoIP accounts.
3. Mobile VoIP integrated with IM and other utilities provides a degree of functionality and flexibility that JAJAH Mobile Suite will not.
4. Once again, the installed base issue. If you, say, are really and truly needing to use a mobile VoIP service for free calling, aren't you going to know more Skype or Yahoo! Messenger with Voice users than JAJAH members?