Gizmondo To Subsidize Handheld

Gizmondo To Subsidize Handheld Gizmondo To Subsidize Handheld Gizmondo To Subsidize Handheld

Gizmondo confirmed details of its previously outlined strategy for a new Smart Adds-enabled Gizmondo to retail alongside its standard model. Both devices will be identical in features and functions (gaming, music, movies, messaging, a digital camera, and GPS) but the new Smart Adds Gizmondo will come pre-subscribed to an added value service and will therefore retail for a subsidized RRP of GBP 129 (USD 236).

This marks an interesting twist in handheld marketing as the device will now be viewed as a means of accessing a consumer for a variety of goods rather than just for games. The involvement of big media names such as Warner Bros. and MTV may help Gizmondo promotion and there may be a future for the device.

We would love to say that the reduced price demonstrates how companies are trying to limit the amount they charge for the hardware and Sony should take a page out of the Tiger Telemetics marketing book but we will have to wait and see what the US subsidized price is before we actually do.

Smart Adds are a method of delivering TV-quality promotions via the Gizmondo, made possible by the Gizmondo's GPRS connectivity. Not available on any other device, Smart Adds are packaged free of charge to an enabled Gizmondo according to the owner's personally selected areas of interest, their gender, age, and location. They come with a list of benefits like 20 free music downloads for the first 12 months, video downloads, films, games, and other exclusive content.

Some Smart Adds will contain redemption or barcodes that can be shown to a participating retailer for product discounts and free merchandise, whilst the onboard Global Positioning System hardware can even give directions to the nearest store.

No more than three Smart Adds will be sent to one of these enabled devices each day, they're self-deleting to ensure relevance, and because of the sign up process, they will aim to be targeted.

The Smart Adds themselves will feature anything from new trainers, to video clips of new albums, movie and game trailers, DVD previews, even advi-games direct to the device. Most importantly they're non-interruptive, i.e. a movie or a game will not be interrupted by the Smart Add, only when the user returns to the Home menu will be they be broadcasted to the device. Squarely focused on the MTV generation with similar tones and relevance to that particular audience, owners of this model will not receive ads for washing up liquids, tax return reminders, or stair lifts.

Like conventional TV advertising, Smart Adds will fall under Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules and regulations. The company is considering voluntary rating via the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) and similar in each country where Smart Adds will be available.

The Smart Add-enabled device will come in two guises; a standard pack containing the enabled Gizmondo, battery, charger, earbud headphones, USB lead, and a contract free SIM card with gbp 5 of credit, and a Value pack containing all the above and plus an extra GBP 90 worth of accessories and games. These include Hifi stereo headphones instead of the earbuds, a recordable 128MB recordable SD card containing demos of games, films and music, a free copy of Trailblazer, and a voucher for the first ever GPS game, Colors.

The standard Smart Adds Gizmondo pack will retail at gbp 129 (USD 245, 189) and the Extra Value pack at GBP 199 (USD 375), releasing on 22nd April in the UK, and will be available at launch in each territory as the global roll out continues. Final focus testing is being conducted until the end of April, with the full roll out of Smart Adds planned for 2nd May 2005.

Any customer who buys, or has bought, the non-Smart Adds Gizmondo can choose to upgrade their device, and will receive an electronic voucher for all the accessories included in the Extra Value Pack (or other accessories to the same value).

The Gizmondo device and its games are in retail stores now in the UK, and in North American and Continental Europe markets from Spring 2005.