I thought I would share with you my impressions after several months testing services on my mobile phone. What are the services I would pay for (the got to have), the ones I wouldn't mind paying for (nice to have), and the ones I really wouldn't pay for.
For a starter, I have been using a Nokia 6600 for several months now, using a Orange UK GPRS contract. I won't mention costs here because they are astronomous. Operators should rethink their pricing strategy and go for an all-you-can-eat pricing at about the same price point than a broadband Internet connection, ie in the 15-20€/month range. For the same price, what you will loose in speed (from 6Mb/s down to 60Kb/s....) you will gain in mobility and ubiquity.
By the way, my GPRS connection is very slow, is it because my Symbian OS version is slow, the processor in the Nokia 6600 is slow, or my Orange network connection is slow ? Probably one of those, as I tried the same services last week on a Sony Ericsson K700 on a Vodafone UK network and it was super fast.
Hence, my top 5 services:
1) Instant messenging: this is a killer application. I have been using a number of clients, including proprietary clients from AOL, ICQ, InstantSymbian and AgileMessenger. The latter is the best to my taste (it's even free, while the others are not), and the service just gets very addictive. Forget SMS by the way, and IM your friends on any network.
2) Mobile email: I tried other email clients for the phone, but the one embedded with the Nokia phone is just as good. You can even configure several mailboxes: the screen is large enough to read your email, and you can reply and forward your stuff. I am not sure why I would need a push service such as the Blackberry services, as a pull (ie. I only read my email when I feel like it) approach is just enough for me. I don't need to be reading emails ALL THE TIME. Send me an SMS alert or IM me if it's really urgent, although nothing should be, really. A must have if you are waisting time in transport, in a queue, or between 2 meetings.
3) Mobile alerts: I have subscribed to CNN Breaking News alerts. You get an SMS for any important stuff. I would subscribe to specific feeds or topics though instead of generic news alerts. And, although I have another service called CNNLive that pulls news from a central repository and stores them locally, I seldom use the service and by now wouldn't pay for it. I would however use it if it were a mobile blog reader!!!!
4) moblogging: this is great: what do you use your mobile camera for ? I think that becoming an on-the-spot journalist for whatever small anecdote is very interesting. Definitively a big winner. Would I pay for it ? well my blog provider (Typepad) has a mobile interface through email. So does the solution I use, interfacing Flickr, email and Typepad. Others such as Nokia have a moblog client: I would probably pay a little bit for part of the service (hosting), or for a cool application.
5) backup / storage: with all the effort put in in configuring my phone, taking pictures, etc. I wouldn't want to loose it all. I might pay for a regular backup service, if, and only if I don't pay for the traffic associated with it. A small subscription fee might do the trick. Orange already offers it on my phone.
Stuff I woudn't pay for:
6) Mobile Games: I've downloaded a few, never run them, not interested: a real waste of money.
7) Ringtones and the like: hey... my phone is on silent mode with vibrator enabled, why would I need that ? (OK, I am not a teen anymore)
Stuff I really don't use:
8) browsing web/wap sites: the screen size is too small, I'd rather have a client/server application than a mobile browser.
9) toothing: although the application is cute and user-friendly, what's the purpose of Mobiluck ?
10) PDA-like applications: euro converters, etc. All the stuff you can download on mobile portals such as handango.
Of course other services will come and I will revisit my position. For instance, I might be very interested in having a unified voice messaging system for both my mobile phone and my home phone and my skype account... But that is another story, and it doesn't exist yet.