The Rise of the Affinity Cell Phone

Issue 10-15-07   |   Reviewer:   Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.


With big players like AT&T, Cingular, and Verizon competing for market share, a startup firm would not normally attract much interest.  However, when the startup is headed by a serial entrepreneur notorious for his connections to successful entities such as Microsoft and Macromedia, the interest piques.  According to BusinessWeek's article The Rise of the Affinity Cell Phone (October 15, 2007), Juha Christensen's resume would be the envy of any aspiring businessperson, with successful projects within megacompanies as well as startups.  He uses an old model of competition in which he leases space from one of the big competitors, repackages it, and then distributes it to many smaller customers.  His target market includes special interest groups like sports teams, churches, and rock group fans.  He eschews the typical tactics of larger firms such as subsidized hardware and retail outlets.  His model counts on its internet-based sales and services and the passion of its customer's client base.  So far it seems to be working, taking a mere 8-9 months to break even with a new customer, compared to 20 months for conventional suppliers. 

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