Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dejavu: New Sprint 2D barcode reader paves way for mobile commerce

Sprint announces 2D barcode reader
MMarketer this morning has the story about Sprint's "New" 2D barcode tech from Scanbuy.

I think this story is interesting and can draw some conclusions because of the following 4 reasons:
  • If you recall, Sprint announced their 2D code tech about a year or so ago on their website...
  • Mobile 2D code scanning tech has been around, so it seems, forever. Early adopters of the tech as well, including mobile web and awerness. In other countries Mobile code scanning has flourished way back and they are now into next generations of the tech. Yet here, Sprint are the first (I think) the carrier to announce it, at the end of 2008.
  • Despite talks in the past that indicated CTIA was making hard efforts to align all carriers, “Sprint is the first and only U.S. carrier to offer direct access to ScanLife from Scanbuy,” said Emmy Anderson, spokeswoman for Sprint. That, to me, means this environment will have a hard time to survive. With exceptions, brands will be hesitant to put codes on their print ads until more carriers have this working.
  • And even then, there's no mention of Sprint preloading the app. I'm not sure how many people will end up downloading it themselves. I mean, if you compare this announcement to the TV commercials that show TMO's G1 scanning codes, who do you think the public is going to be aware of?
  • Scanbuy landed $9m series B back in '06. Back then it seemed attached to the Sprint announcement. Timing is everything and whoever gets it right is king. Boy time does fly, doesn't it?

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