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Vonage In The News
Vonage Holdings Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

Carolyn Katz Elected to Board of Directors of Vonage Holdings Corp.

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Vonage Pros and Cons for 2006
Vonage Pros and Cons for 2006



Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review
Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review



Salt Lake City: impressions after several months
Salt Lake City: impressions after several months




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Patience Is Required For New Products


Vonage In Print News

Patience Is Required For New Products

March 26, 2004

By Victoria Shannon

Paris - When you think of brand names that dominate innovative consumer technology, it's easy to group the leaders by continent. Asia has Sony, DoCoMo, Samsung, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Canon and Panasonic. The United States has Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Kodak. And IBM and Yahoo and Palm and AOL. Not to mention the entire Silicon Valley, a kind of brand name in its own right.

Europe has ... Well, Europe has a market of more than 40 countries, scores of languages, countless trade barriers, complex regulations and high labor costs. Perhaps those are some of the reasons that Europeans are usually on the short end of the stick when it comes time for the tech visionaries to introduce their new products and services.

This week brought a few examples: Apple, swarmed by U.S. orders for its new iPod, has put off overseas availability until July. Apple also isn't offering its iTunes service outside of the United States. Neither is Napster, although both say they are coming.

Vonage and Net2Phone are just getting around to making the effort to draw in European customers for their U.S.-created services that allow phone calls over the Internet. AT&T Wireless is about to allow its cellphone service to send text to British and Italian mobile phones. And Motorola promised this week it would make a "global phone," capable of using the main two cellular standards in the United States, Europe and Asia. European gamers must wait until at least the end of the year before trying out the next-generation PlayStation from Sony, called the PSX and already available in Japan.

It's too bad. Europeans have the money to support a gadget-rich lifestyle - just look at the 90-percent-plus penetration of mobile phones in many countries here.

And in fairness, Europe does have its own cutting-edge brands: Philips, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone. And Nokia, Siemens, Alcatel and Logitech. And Opera and Kazaa. And CERN, the Swiss birthplace of the World Wide Web, Bluetooth from Sweden's Ericsson, and Linus Torvalds, the Finnish creator of Linux (who is now a U.S. resident).

So it's not that innovation is lacking here. It's more that despite its geographical oneness, Europe is and will continue to be - especially after the expansion of the European Union on May 1 - a region where many voices speak, be they regulatory or linguistic. For any large company, there's nothing like selling into one market with one language and one currency, with the efficiency of a handful of nationwide TV networks to get the word out via advertising.

So for most of Europe's homegrown companies, home is not the most important market. And even if it is, boy, would they sure like to succeed in America, land of the free-spending consumer and home of the brave early adopter.

Not that there's anything European residents can do about it. Patience is a virtue, they say. The patient can now take advantage of online photo printing services from Kodak and Apple, for instance. Ofoto, from Kodak, arrived last summer, and iPhoto, from Apple, began last week. And Europeans who want to make phone calls over the Internet can try the homegrown Skype (offered by the same gents who created Kazaa).

Still, the world continues to contract, economically speaking, and the lag time will undoubtedly get shorter as well. Over time.



 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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