When we reviewed the Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV TV equipped handset, we commented on the rather bland design and awful keypad. It seems the market in general agreed with our negative findings... according to this article over at the Register, Virgin Mobile shifted only 10,000 units - a disastrous tally by any measure - and is now set to pull the plug on the TV service the handset was supposed to showcase.
From the Register:
Are you a Lobster user? How do you feel about the announcement?
Timescales for shutting down the Virgin service are still under discussion, but they admit that sales have been "slower than originally expected", which they attribute to a lack of big-brand devices and lacklustre interest from operators.
Virgin said its service will run until the end of January 2008, though BT's contract on the frequency lasts until 9 June. Virgin refused to comment on the reason for the cancellation, though a lack of subscribers seems likely.
From my perspective the device was flawed (I mean, you couldn't even watch TV in landscape) but the concept had potential given a wider range of devices more suited to the purpose! What now for mobile TV? Regular video streaming over 3G? DVB in handsets? Only time will tell, but I suspect we won't be seeing Virgin Mobile TV offerings for a while!
PS I notice that the Lobster 700TV is no longer on Virgin Mobile's site... I wonder if they managed to shift all the handsets they had lined up?
PPS Thanks to member 'jchamier' for the TIPoff