Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sprint Launches InfoSpace's FindIt

What I see is a carrier focusing on the consumer first, then worrying about advertising later. There's another industry giant that used this thinking to create the biggest advertising company on the Internet.

This has it all, a consumer application for info, location based and carrier support.

From Seattle Times InfoSpace launches mobile search

Using local mobile search, information can be found based on location rather than entering an address. InfoSpace of Bellevue has incorporated this technology in a new version of its Find It application, which is launching today on the Sprint and Nextel networks.

The application, which must be downloaded to the phone to work, will cost $2.99 a month for unlimited searches, or roughly the price of two phone calls to 411. It will be available on about 25 handsets, which reaches nearly 30 million of Sprint Nextel subscribers.

Sprint will first generate revenues by making the consumer pay. How long before they figure out how to include advertising for this? Not long.

By clicking on categories, you can search through a number of options, such as the nearest ATM, movie theaters, banks, malls, parking garages, cleaners, restaurants and more. Click on "restaurants," and you can choose type of cuisine. If you need help finding the place, it will provide turn-by-turn directions or a map.

The service works on GPS-enabled phones and phones that don't have GPS by using the nearest cellphone tower as a locator

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, other Seattle-area companies are in the field. Those include Medio Systems , which is targeting a broader set of search capabilities, and Bellevue-based Action Engine

What happens to SMS search applications once other carriers get this type of platform on the phone?

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