Corporate Australian App development for Windows Phone still remains painfully slow for the growing numbers of device owners in Australia two and half years into the platform’s life. Whether its Vodafone cricket Apps, Foxtel or (any) Sport streaming Apps right down to self-service Apps for each carrier, Windows Phone certainly lags behind the market size and reach of Android and iOS. Well, thanks to a motivated WP enthusiast, we can now report that at least one of these gaps is being addressed at Telstra now – and the confirmation comes from an impeccable source!
Telstra’s 24×7 App is a feature-rich mobile App bringing your complete Telstra Account management experience to the convenience of your smartphone. Paying bills, viewing usage, checking credit remaining and re-charging or just locating your closest Telstra store are all features in the iOS and Android versions.
In information provided to WPDownUnder this week, we can confirm that Telstra’s CEO David Thodey has responded as per below (name and contact details removed) on the subject of a Windows Phone Telstra 24 x 7 App.
I’d like to thank you for your note and I am pleased to let you know that a windows version of our popular 24×7 app is already planned.
We are about to commence its development and whilst release dates are hard to predict with accuracy, we expect to have this app in the market by June this year.
I thank you very much for being a Telstra customer and I appreciate your passion for the Windows phone range.
David Thodey Chief Executive Officer Telstra Corporation Limited Locked Bag xxxx, Melbourne VIC 3001
(phone and email removed)
and the Telstra PR reply:
“Windows Phone is an important platform for us. We already provide customers with a Windows Phone TelstraOne app (recently updated) and we’re investigating the development of a 24×7 app so that customers can easily track their mobile usage. As the customer base for Windows Phone grows we will consider bringing additional Telstra applications to the platform.”Telstra PR reply 26/03/2013
Now PR replies are notorious for spin and customer-focused rhetoric avoiding anything which even comes close to an actual answer to the question asked at the best of times. This is an excellent example of this. However, the curious part was that in good faith we had advised Telstra of the specifics of the email reply from Mr. Thodey in our possession, seeking to provide them time and an opportunity to organise an official response saving the need for sharing the above email. They either could not, or did not feel it necessary to do so.
Unpacking their PR reply a little further (and please let me know if we have it wrong here – or are being unfair):
“Windows Phone is an important platform for us” – This just seems to be missing the comma, BUT!
“We already provide customers with a Windows Phone TelstraOne app (recently updated)” - ….and YOU Windows Phone customers should be grateful we did that AND that we went to the trouble to update if for you! Harsh? Maybe a little
“…and we’re investigating the development of a 24×7 app so that customers can easily track their mobile usage.” - So is David Thodey wrong in his frank and direct reply? Is Telstra investigating or commencing the development? My money is with the CEO!
“As the customer base for Windows Phone grows we will consider bringing additional Telstra applications to the platform” – Well this last part seems to be the cut-to-the-chase part of the PR response. Obviously ROI (return on investment) due to the low user base for Windows Phone (anywhere from 4-7% of new smartphone sales in Australia at a guess) continues to hamper corporate App development on the platform. What concerns us the most is that other key Apps like AFL (or NRL) Streaming Apps have been stuck behind this barrier as well – and these are Apps they can charge for!
Focusing on the positive, with thanks to Mr. Thodey, it is great to hear that a positive customer experience App for Telstra like 24 x 7 will be coming to Windows Phone devices. We look forward to a smooth and successful App development phase. Let us know if you need any help with beta testers – I’m sure we can find a few customers and Windows Phone Down Under readers who will put their hands up!