Saturday, February 13, 2010

Anyone order 400,000 foneras?

Fon got an order for 400,000 Fonera WiFi routers in January

"While we still can’t disclose from who Fon got an order for 400K Foneras I can say that it is a mobile operator. Mobile operators are realizing that Fon is their amigo. That for them it’s great when customers who paid their monthly 3G fees offload their traffic on to a WiFi network. More to follow."


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fon launches the PeekFon

reserve yours now:

The PeekFon will be 99 euros to buy, a reasonable price especially considering that the price includes both the gadget and 6 months of all you can eat email service anywhere in Europe. No roaming charges. No contract.

After that we will charge euro 12.90 per month for the service but as opposed to other email machines out there, there is no cancellation penalty of any kind if the user does not want to continue with the service.

This is a complementary service to Fon WiFi but it is not a WiFi product. It is a GPRS product. The idea is that with Fon you share a little wifi at home and roam for free but the PeekFon addresses those moments in which you can’t find WiFi in spite of Fon´s over 800,000 hotspots now available in Europe. With the PeekFon you get the most important piece of messaging, your email, anytime.

Browsing, Twitter, and other functionalities will be added within months but for now buyers have to think of the PeekFon as an email machine with a full keyboard.

Why is Fon launching the PeekFon?

Because in Europe we pay huge roaming charges when we leave our own countries. As a German you can come to France and easily pay in a day what the Peek will cost in a month.

Because many people still prefer a phone that looks like a phone for phone calls and sms and an email machine for email and don’t mind carrying two devices that do their jobs well.

Because even if you never leave your country Blackberry services, iPhone and Android services in Europe cost around 50 euros a month and have minimum 2 year stays and include no talking minutes. So in Europe even if you stay at home you spend 1200 euros to get email and if you travel around Europe you spend double that on the average. This would compare with 312 euros with PeekFon vs 2400 euros if you roam and 1200 euros if you don’t. So there are enormous savings for getting email.

Having said all this Fon recognizes that “apples to apples” a Blackberry, an iPhone, an Android is a better product than a Peek and if you have the extra money to sign 1200 euros contracts and spend a few thousand more for roaming the Peek can’t compete with the complete iPhone, Blackberry, Android experience. But as a pure and simple email machine the Peek can and its price is just reasonable.

We also recommend Americans and Asians and other non Europeans coming to Europe to get a PeekFon as roaming charges by US operators are a killer over here so much so that the iPhone for example comes with a feature to disable roaming.

The PeekFon will be available at December 15th. It will be available for shipping to all European countries for which shipping is now provided for the Fonera. If we see demand from USA and Asia we will also have it available at our US and Asian shops to be activated when landing anywhere in Europe.

GPRS service for the PeekFon will be provided by the new Pan European MVNO for gadgets Spotnik. Fon will be Spotnik’s first customer.

Thank you Wired for your “Good Enough” article. It helps me explain why in the era of “my smartphone is smarter than yours” we are launching the PeekFON – unarguably the simplest smartphone around and no rival in terms of apps to the iPhone, Android or Blackberry. The PeekFON is about simplicity. A PeekFon is “good enough”. The PeekFON does one thing very well, email with a full keyboard. And email is what most people need at work. So the PeekFON is a working tool. It is geared towards companies who want to give employees connectivity on the road. The way I see it, if an iPhone is Facebook, a PeekFON aims to be Twitter. Simple, to the point, with limitations, but “good enough”. 23 euros for the device, no roaming anywhere in the EU, no contracts, and a flat 12,90 per month with the first half year prepaid. So you pay 99 euros for the device and 6 months of prepaid service when you order. After that, you only pay for the months you use it. If you want to reserve one click here.