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September 13, 2007

Sprint launches look-alike shopping portal

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 10:27 AM

Sprint Nextel said today it launched a mobile shopping service that allows people to purchase from 30 online retailers from their phones.

The service is powered by Boulder, Col.-based mShopper.

Sprint is claiming to be the first carrier to launch a mobile shopping portal. But I wrote a story in July about Verizon Wireless using Seattle-based mPoria to create a shopping portal of its own.

The conclusion I came to in my story about mobile shopping is that it is really in its early days, but interest is mounting with Amazon.com, eBay and other big online retailers starting to consider the technology as a serious opportunity. The hope is that all the mobile users who buy ringtones and other digital goods on their phones will eventually switch over to physical goods. You can see some baby steps already occurring, such as when people pay for parking or buy a bus token with their phones.

Since my story ran, mPoria announced a strategic partnership with Seattle-based Medio Systems. Medio will provide mobile advertising campaigns to mPoria's retail customers, who will pay only when their ad is clicked on.

From today's papers, here is the WSJ's take on Sprint's mobile shopping service, and here is AP's take.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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