Thursday, 20 March 2014

Should we sell phones?

OK, bit of another poll here...

Should we also sell phones?

Obviously SIM free. But my feeling is there are two ends to this. One is the dirt cheap "burn phone" type Nokia 100 for £20 or so. These are great phones just for calls and texts and have the battery life of a [fails to find analogy].

We'd not expect them to break or be a hassle for repair/replacement.

At the other end of the market are things like the Somin phones. They are robust "Builder's phones", and they manage replacement for any sort of damage for 3 years for us. So again, no hassle.

I am wary of selling anything in the middle as they are likely to be hassle, one way or another. Maybe I am wrong.

What would people buy from us if we sold phones?


  1. Unless you can be competitive with the likes of Amazon, I wouldn't bother. As good as your support may (or may not) be, I doubt you'd be able to touch the big guys who are able to play the long game and replace immediately without quibble.

  2. I think maybe something very cheap and simple, but otherwise don't get into it.

  3. Revk the nokia 100 is £9 from tesco ATM.…..that's what you would be competing with.....more hassle than worth me thinks


  4. You'd be competing with Amazon, Tesco, Asda and eBay. I can't see this ending well for A&A. What would be the compelling reason for me to spend consisderably more for the same phone from you?

  5. I wouldn't bother selling normal phones. However selling something like a dual sim phone like the Samsung Galaxy S/Grand Duos or the Acer Liquid E2 Duo would help to promote your sip2sim service as you can say you can keep your original sim in the phone on a cheap traffic so you can still receive calls from any customers who may still have your old mobile number. You may not sell many if people see they can buy it cheaper elsewhere but it might cause more people to try sip2sim.

  6. Perhaps offer engraved phones?

  7. My next phone would likely be a dual-SIM device from A&A if you could import and sell them - very few folks in the UK actually sell them which is probably due to low demand.

    1. Expansys sell a few. Not the Lenovo one though which might be popular with some people as it has a much larger battery.

  8. You would have to do something different to everyone else... so those phones that are supposed to be near indestructible seem like a good idea.

  9. The only things I'm really after from phone hardware are:

    1. Slide out physical keyboard. I find these really invaluable (can't get on with the horrible touch screen keyboards, especially since you immediately lose half your screen space to them, which is a big deal when using SSH). Best phone I had was the HTC Dream. When that died I had to import a Samsung Captivate Glide from the US since there seem to be no phones with hard keyboards in the EU. Its certainly not such a good phone as my old HTC Dream (ok, the hardware is much newer - the Dream was restricted to really early versions of Android, but the Glide isn't quite such a nice form-factor and the firmware is buggy).

    2. Some kind of guarantee that I'm going to be able to keep the firmware vaguely up to date. Ideally this would be making the phones as generic as PCs so you can just install an out-of-the-box OS without device specific tweaks, but that's not going to happen any time soon. The current situation with my Samsung phone is pretty poor though - it shipped with Gingerbread, and when they *eventually* got around to releasing ICS it was buggy as hell (stuff like bluetooth audio didn't work) so I'm still stuck on Gingerbread. There's been a community effort to put Jellybean on it, but that has been plagued by exactly the same bugs as the official ICS image (because they're having to use some of the buggy binary blobs from ICS to drive proprietary bits of hardware).

    Fundamentally, this is all stuff that is down to the manufacturers, and I'm afraid I can't see anything you could offer that isn't already offered by every other phone reseller (this is the nature of the box-shifting business - the reseller can't really add any value to the boxed device, so no reason not to just buy from the cheapest reseller).

  10. I'm kind of with everyone else in that you'd be competing with Amazon etc.

    The only place I can see that you could add value would be to send them all out pre-configured with the SIM in etc. Corporate customers would like that sort of thing, I'd guess - not having to deal with ordering lots of things from different places and putting them together. VAR for phones

  11. I second the comment about dual-SIM phones. I have a dual-SIM Moto G but it was very hard to find: ended up buying an import from EBay. It would be useful if A&A could sell a selection of dual-SIM phones, as the trouble with EBay is that you never know if you're buying a useless fake.

  12. One potential idea - dongles with the option of custom printing.