Saturday, December 6, 2008

O2: "We won't do a Carphone with laptops"

O2 UK chief Ronan Dunne reckons O2 would "lack ambition" if it were to follow current model for laptop retail in mobile space

Telefonica O2 UK chief executive Ronan Dunne (pictured) said last week O2 will not sell laptops in the manner of rival network and multiple retailers. Dunne said such a move would be a step back, towards an old box-shifting model of mobile retail.

O2 will likely range laptops in its stores early next year, but will work web content and services into the bundles to drive mobile broadband revenues. O2 wants devices optimised to drive traffic across the O2 network, whether that is mobile phones or laptops.

He said: "If O2 is just moving laptops sold in PC World and Carphone Warehouse, then we lack ambition. If a connected world is a better world, the question is how to move that model forward."

Dunne explained: "We are seeing a huge uplift in the laptop market in the UK at the same time as a surge in mobile broadband sales, and I'm not sure which is driving which.

"But all that is really happening is the mobile model is being replicated [in the laptop sales]. That doesn't give value to customers. We have to innovate around this whole connected world."

He added: "Next year, you will see significant innovation from us in the whole connected world space, beyond just shifting hardware."

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