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O2 and eBay bid customers a unique mobile experience
Customers in the UK will be able to track the progress of that all important online bid or sale – or even offload unwanted Christmas presents – whilst on the move thanks to a new deal between O2 and eBay. The agreement brings together i-mode®, the world’s most widely-used mobile internet service available exclusively from O2 in the UK, with eBay.co.uk, the largest online marketplace®. It will be the first time that registered users of eBay.co.uk can access the site officially via an O2 i-mode phone. Available in the UK from today, the service allows customers to bid for goods via an O2 mobile from more than 13,000 categories as they do today using their PC and fixed internet connection. They will also be able to view all of their familiar ‘My eBay’ features, including ‘items I am watching’, ‘items I am bidding on’, ‘items I am selling’ and ‘items I have won’. Customers can be safe in the knowledge that eBay through their mobile will be just as secure as it is through a PC since i-mode is based on trusted, open Internet standards. Also, unlike other mobile Internet services available today, i-mode sites are also inherently designed for mobile so that customers can enjoy the fastest possible browsing experience. For example, a dedicated button on the mobile handset enables users to quickly navigate back and forth between pages without delays – a crucial function when bidding on eBay. Michiel van Eldik, director of i-mode, global content and applications, said: “Mass market online trading and shopping will for the first time be offered to UK mobile users through this important collaboration. We expect this service to become hugely popular, not just for selling tasteless Christmas jumpers, but for a host of transactions and continue to accelerate the successful uptake of i-mode – recent research reveals seven out of 10 people who buy i-mode handsets use the service, compared to just three out of 10 people that use the available WAP services on their handset.” eBay is the latest in an ever-growing list of well known brands to join O2’s i-mode service, which was launched last year. eBay becomes the 126th i-mode site, it joins leading Internet sites such as Monster.com, Egg, Rightmove.co.uk, Universal and Interflora. i-mode was originally developed by NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile operator, and has attracted 50 million users in 22 countries since its launch six years ago. The success of i-mode is attributed to its ease of use with single clicks through to a world of web content users already know well, quickly and cost effectively.