No more Orange Wednesdays

Orange Wednesday say goodbye

EE which is Orange and Tmobile combined recently announced there will be no more Orange Wednesdays from Wednesday 25th Feb 2015.

“Orange Wednesday launched over a decade ago and at its peak was a massive success and an iconic promotion,” the company said in a statement.

“After 10 great years our brand has changed and our customers’ viewing habits have also evolved so it’s time to move on.

Yep I thought so…

Recently cinemas have been offering their own 241 deals on days like Tuesdays and Mondays to boost attendance. O2 tried emulate Orange Wednesday with their own thing.

Although something smells like the cinemas may have wanted more of a cut that originally agreed. I wouldn’t be surprised…

This would also mean (if it still ran) no more Salford Cinema Club.

Orange extend Orange Wednesday

Pizza at Pizzaexpress

Wonder what the thinking behind this? I got this on a text today in a text

241: Hi, this week only with Orange Wednesdays enjoy 2 for 1 at PizzaExpress Sun 24-Wed 27 Feb using the same text ticket for 4 days. Terms

Maybe Pizza Express is making a killing having Orange customers on Wednesdays, so they thought about extending it to other quiet nights? Interesting the cinema offer isn’t also in effect?

Might be useful at some point even though there is no Salford Cinema Club this week.

HTC One X coming to Orange

HTC One X and S in Orange Store confirmed

Updated, with the new orange store screenshot

I was considering switching network while I wait for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but yesterday Engadget broke the news about the HTC One X and One S and that it was coming to Orange in the UK.

Not sure how I feel about the 4.7 inch screen of the HTC One X but the HTC One S’s 4.3 inch screen is but much more pocketable. The One S also looks like my old HTC Desire but much nicer and bigger. Quad core running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) coupled with HTC’s final decision to unlock all bootloaders makes these phones very attractive and a long term investment.

Certainly glad I waited and didn’t go for the Samsung Galaxy S2 or one of Sony’s other Gingerbread phones. If the Galaxy S3 does come, I can always still switch network if its a One X beater

My next phone… Its that of the year again

Google Galaxy Nexus

Yes its that time again… Time for the phone upgrade and I’m really not sure which one to go for?

I want to get another Android phone but I don’t want to get another Gingerbread (Android 2.3) phone because thanks to Cyanogen I’m already enjoying Gingerbread on my HTC Desire. This means the HTC Sensation is a no and the LG Optimus is heck no running Froyo. I’m also thinking although I really like the Samsung Galaxy S2, and it will be upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4). I’m interested to see what else might be hitting the market soon… No idea when the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is coming to Orange but I might wait and see what comes in the next few months.

What would you do…?

O2 tries to muscle in on Orange Wednesdays?

Has anyone else noticed how mobile network O2 are trying to muscle there way in on Orange Wednesdays and in actual fact setup there own groupon thing?

What is Priority Moments?
Priority Moments is an innovative location based mobile service that takes Priority to O2 customers by serving up nearby exclusive offers and experiences from brands they love. Available to O2 customers around the UK, Priority Moments makes location-based offers useful, relevant and mainstream for the first time.

O2 tried many times to offer tickets to gigs, etc in the past but nothing has stuck or had the disruptive effect of Orange Wednesdays. I now know people who stay with Orange simply because of Orange Wednesdays.

O2’s list of discounts and offers (priorities as they call it) is pretty impressive but is too lengthy… The thing they don’t get about Orange Wednesdays, is that, its exactly that… Orange Wednesdays. For example on O2 you get this from the Odeon. Half price adult & teenager tickets (Sun – Thurs). Well thats the same as you get from Orange really. Sunday – Thursday is interesting because Sundays are still popular and Thursdays are usually when the previews show. However thanks to Orange Wednesdays, thats bouncing back and forth between Wednesdays and Fridays depending on the distributor.

All the other offers and theres a lot of them, puts 02 in the Groupon & Living social fields for sure. Lots of useful discounts but no real focus, and to be fair focus of attention is maybe what is needed. Orange should stick to there guns.

The effect of the Orange Wednesday ecosystem

Cinema foyer

There is something really interesting going on in the movie industry… I can’t put my finger on it but something interesting is going on…

In America everyone is going nuts over Groupon to starting to offering movie tickets at a discount. I thought ok, so what, nothing new? We’ve had Orange Wednesday for years and thats has had a massive effect on the industry.

When I say massive I mean, Orange Wednesdays discount code has become the currency for discounts all over Wednesday. Pizza Express now have a 2 for 1 pizza Wednesday. And more locally theres quite a bit of discount on transport tickets and other restaurants for Orange Wednesday customers.

On top of this… The movie industry is coming around to this notion and have starting allowing films to be released on Wednesday. (remember the cinema week use to start Thursday with previews and Friday for the main day). For example Limitless

But the interesting part is that although the numbers through the doors are better on a Wednesday due to the discounts, the kind of people who are going are less of the serious film lovers and more of the general public (I would suggest). General public are great for sales but to be honest they tend not to be fanatical about films and therefor (I would once again suggest) are less likely to come back for another viewing or tell there friends. So overall the film industry will have to fight even harder to keep up the profits they have. They really think piracy is the problem but could it be the cinemas which are the silent killers or the last nail in there own coffins? Its a bit like Apple and Music industry with itunes.

The music industry was so hell bent on catching the music pirates and stopping computers from doing what there great at doing (copying), that Apple slipped in with pandora’s box which looked great to them all. What they didn’t know till later was that pandora’s box (or itunes as its better known), meant giving Apple a massive slice of the music industry… In the same way, the movie industry moving release dates to benefit the cinemas is not such a good move for themselves. (At least the groupon deal doesn’t include shifting the release dates, yet!)

Instead of fighting new technologies, they need to embrace it before someone else close by (like the cinema chains or a mobile phone operator) makes them irrelevant.

The irony is Orange’s cinema adverts are all about the deconstruction of films through humor and putting a mobile phone in where its not really wanted. Humor indeed but for whom?

Of course this is just my thoughts or suggestions and not the truth, you may disagree… But if you do please add a comment. I could be barking up the wrong tree but something is certainly going on…

Comparing Apples to Oranges in advertising

Apples & Oranges - They Don't Compare

Everyone knows I’m not a fan of Apple but after watching the mass hysteria over the ipad2 which was a massive yawn. I’ve been thinking what is it with the iphone/ipad which bugs me. besides the obvious stuff like a closed platform and ecosystem, etc… Then I saw Charlie Brooker on Channel4’s 10 o’clock show ranting about the Apple ipad 2… and trust me the rant is hysterical…

Anyhow it got me thinking… after drying the tears from my eyes (from all the laughing of course) the Apple iphone and ipad adverts kind of suck.

Why? Well let me explain… Here’s a series of iphone adverts.

In my view (and I’m not a advertising exec) the iphone is too in your face. Its all about the iphone and not much else. Heck even the human is reduced down to a hand puppet. Here’s the ipad advert. Shiny Shiny... Yes you have Johny Ive talking but frankly thats not enough to break it up, because he’s talking about the device and not what it could enable.

Here’s the Microsoft Phone 7 advert which to be fair does take the mick out of the people’s use of phones but look how much time the phone actually gets on screen? Microsoft was right, the phone distracts you from whats going on around you. This can be a good thing sometimes but most of the time its a bad thing. Charlie Brooker in his lovely crafted rant hits it right on the mark. You might as well burn down the locations around the users, the users are so distracted by the ipad, they might as well be no where. Its of course not just the ipad and iphone… Here’s the mac book air advert.

Orange a long time ago use (the animals not so much) to create amazing adverts which don’t include technology. Here’s the new range of adverts which don’t include a single phone at all. This one shows some quite difficult concepts using non-tech ideas. Heck even Apple use to create interesting adverts for there ipod range.

Ok I hear the cries of fowl play. Comparing Orange to Apple is like… well comparing Oranges and Apples 🙂 But seriously, Orange are well known for there excellent adverts so maybe its slightly unfair. But you would slightly expect well thought out adverts for a company who prides themselves so much on the obsessive methods they use to make there products and the packaging. So lets look at Sony and Apple.

Sony’s make believe adverts, not quite as good as Orange’s but once again, the technology takes a back seat in the adverts. (of course here’s the new foam one, the paint one and of course the balls one) Its all about what it enables you to do.

Its about enabling and the experiences you could have. For me this is much more seductive and fore-filling than looking at shiny shiny objects.

But heck what do I know, I’m again, not a TV exec!

do you have a desire for froyo too?

Today my HTC desire made a weird noise and I looked at the screen to find it wanted to download a massive update and it was asking if it should use wifi or a combination of 3g and wifi. Looking at the update it was trying to download, I saw those magical word… FROYO!

Yep for ages I’ve been waiting for Froyo because although I love my desire phone, I keep running out of space. Which is stupid because I got a 8gig micro Sd card in the device but for some reason android pretty much ignores it. Froyo came out a while ago with the perfect solution for using the Sd card for apps, but I’ve had to wait for Orange and HTC to put up a update before I could upgrade.

Anyway time for the upgrade… i’ll let you know how it goes

If you want to upgrade yourself, there’s a quick and easy way to do it. (I wish I’d done it myself a while ago to be honest)

  1. Download the Android 2.2 firmware for the Desire – here is the link to download
  2. Rename the file and copy it to your microSD card via USB. [Note: make sure the file is named and not]
  3. Power down your Desire
  4. Hold down the “Volume Down” button as you power the phone back on.
  5. A screen should appear showing your phone’s system searching for various files. Scroll down to “recovery” and press the “Power” button.
  6. When you see the triangle with an exclamation point symbol, press the “Power” and “Volume Up” buttons at the same time.
  7. From the menu that appears, select “Apply”
  8. When the screen displays “Install from sdcard complete” select “reboot system now” and wait for the phone to power back up.

I can happily say I’m upgraded and enjoying Android Froyo, thanks Google, HTC and Orange.

Orange Wednesdays saves Cinema?

I’ve been going to the cinema quite a lot recently, further proving that file sharers are truly film lovers an will pay for convenience and the film industry should consider this. So far I’ve been to the cinema 4 times in the last 2 weeks. I even bought Empire magazine while waiting in Manchester Hospital for my physical therapy session

Anyway, I went to the cinema today and it was packed. Compare this to Tuesday and even Thursday last week, where it was very quiet.

It got me thinking about the effect of Orange Wednesday.

It seems a lot of people are waiting to Wednesday to go to the cinema which makes sense with it being two for one.

Obviously it was setup with the major cinema chains because Wednesday is officially the last day of the cinema week, so anything to get people in on the last day makes a lot of sense. The weird thing is that a phone company would do this, specially with everything the cinema chains have tried to get people in. Everything they have tried from offering one pound tickets on cinema day to playing computer games on the massive screens.

Orange Wednesdays certainly nets the cinemas a huge amount of money and I wonder how they compare to Saturdays and even Sundays. There’s little secret that the cinemas make almost all there money on Food and drink, the money for films actually mainly go back to the distributor and studio depending on the popularity of the film. Something like 4,3,2,1 which I saw on Monday will typically take all the box office money in the first 2-3 weeks. Something like the dark knight or even avatar will have a longer period set on its return. Maybe even up to 8 or even 10 weeks for a high ranking blockbuster. Which means cinema usually try and hold a film as long as they can or have many theatres as possible (hence things like the 16 screen AMC multiplex in Manchester, my local cinema). Obviously on the flip side they also try and get rid of the films that don’t do so well for them too, quickly.

You could say Orange Wednesdays was a early Four Square or Gowall type system, its just a shame the cinemas are only just catching on to the potential of loyalty schemes. How good would it have been if you could have a home cinema and got points or even prizes if you visited others? Heck they could have bluetooth access points in the box office area where they could do a whole bunch of things.

Orange Wednesday is a very clever concept, and if you look beyond the silly ads you might find its the saver of modern cinema.

The HTC Desire is coming to Orange

HTC Desire

Jas Dhaliwal left me a tweet which left a massive smile on my face. After my post moaning about Orange’s lack of decent handsets, it becomes clear that Orange are going to be first with the HTC Desire which is a Android 2.1 handset. He’re the details from the Orange Newsroom.

  • Orange to retail the HTC Desire free on selected consumer pay monthly and business price plans from April
  • The HTC Desire will feature Qualcommm’s superfast Snapdragon 1GHz processor and Google’s Android 2.1 Operating System
  • An Orange Signature device, The HTC Desire is the first of several Android handsets to be unveiled by Orange in 2010

Orange today announced it will be launching the much anticipated HTC Desire, the next Android device to be ranged by Orange in the UK. Available this spring across all Orange consumer retail and business channels, the HTC Desire will be free on selected consumer pay monthly and business price plans.

Offering a rich, intuitive browsing touch interface and premium design, the 3G+ enabled Desire is the latest device to feature Google’s 2.1 Android operating system, allowing users unrestricted access to thousands of amazing tools and applications which can be downloaded straight to the handset.

Although I love the HD2 (4.3inch screen), its unlikely to head to Orange anytime soon and waiting another 6 months for my contract to run out is pointless if Orange will be getting decent Android phones soon. I do like Windows Mobile, specially the look of version 7 but its time to move on. So for the next few months, I’ll use my HD1 as a Android phone (video) then in April be first in line for the Desire.

Orange Valentine day let down

Valentine’s day is always good for me, even without any sweets or cards because I can officially upgrade my mobile phone on my Orange contract. However Orange have such a poor selection of handsets available and coming up, that i’m forced to sit it out and wait for something decent to show up. The only phone I would consider is the HTC Hero Graphite but to be honest, with my HTC HD1 almost supporting Android 2.0.1. Theres very little reason to switch to a lesser capable phone model. I’m tempted with the Nexus One but even thats not a massive upgrade on the Touch HD.

Ideally I’m looking for the HTC HD2, a Motorola droid or one of the new Samsung’s with Android on board. Maybe I was slightly spoiled by having the HD1 over a year ago, and its certainly still an amazing phone, specially since Android kind of works on it.

HTC technically make the best smartphones in the world?

HTC Quietly Brilliant

Right from about 10 years ago HTC have been making phones for many phone companies such as Orange in the UK and France. Because of there small eastern background, few people had heard of them and I guess the operators were able to get away with selling quite amazing handsets for pretty cheap. In my history I’ve had…

  • Orange SPV E200
  • Orange SPV M500 (I had a 3G Nec e808 too)
  • Orange SPV M600
  • Orange SPV M700
  • HTC TyTN II (I had a Sanyo S750 inbetween)
  • Orange Touch HD

Anyway, its time again when I can upgrade my phone again (I don’t do 2 year contracts) and honestly looking around the only real choice has got to be a HTC made phone. I know most of you people reading this are in love with Apple but technically I would argue that HTC has had the best smartphones for a few years at least now. Its specially since Android, HTC phones have really started to shine. I’m still shocked at how sweet my current Touch HD is and I’ve not even had a chance to play with the HD2 or Nexus One yet.

And just when you think things can’t get much better for HTC smartphones, rumours of the HD3 are leaked. If the specs are true, I really should hold out for this simply amazing smartphone. Until then I’ll be slowly switching over to Android on my current Touch HD. Others have been check out the same way of running Android but with not as much success as myself it would seem. But you have to give it up to a phone which can run more that one operating system.

The Sexy little HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond

Via Engadget, iI'm not the biggest fan of the touch range of HTC phones, but this one looks great. I would get one if I was upgrading my phone. And you iphone owners have to admit this phone does look great and has a pretty impressive 3d accelerated interface. What makes it great is its spec, VGA screen, Bluetooth 2.0, Wifi, HSDPA/3g support, GPS (a-gps?), 4gig of storage, MicroSD card support for more storage, 3.2mpx camera, 3D graphics chip, FM radio and Accelerometer. It looks like a LG Viewty but runs Windows Mobile 6.1, how much better can you get? Well I guess we'll find out in a special HTC press launch today in London. Best thing about HTC phones, is there usually priced below Nokia's and always available on Orange first.

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I bricked my windows mobile phone

Mobile data?

Mobile laptop data has always been a pain, in my mind it started when the phone companies started making those PCMCIA adapters where you could stick in a GSM/GPRS card. Before that you use to have to dialup via the infrared port or a serial cable. The GSM/GPRS cards would allow you to put in a sim card into the PC card and dialup on your laptop from anywhere. Then Vodafone came out with a 3G data card, others followed suit adding Wireless and even HSDPA (3.5g) to the mix.

But there was a few problems. Each card came with some propitery software, the card themselves were expensive and the data plans attached only suitable for business users. In America on the otherhand all you could get all you can eat data plans based on that weird standard called EVDO for a reasonable rate. Because of this Laptop makers started adding EVDO and other Mobile data options, which made the PC cards a little less important. But the huge break through (in the UK) came when Tmobile (to there credit) dropped there data plan to a all you can eat model. Vodafone and Orange followed soon afterwards. 3 the mobile operator in the UK started offering a cheap usb dongle to there users of mobile data. 10 pounds buys you the dongle and the data for a month. Well I thought this was a good idea and I know a few people are tempted with the offer but I think I found better.

Ok enough history – I bricked my new phone, no not actually killed it so it no long works but more like bricked it so it operates as a wireless modem. I was doing this over bluetooth at the start but for some reason while using the windows mobile internet sharing option the phone wants to be in bluetooth discovery mode too. This quickly kills the battery, so I started plugging it in over USB. Because the phone also charges over USB too, it might as well be like the USB dongle. My Data plan currently is 5 pounds for weekend and evening unlimited data (unlimited meaning 1gig fair use data a month). Orange offer for another 3 pounds a all day everyday option but limited to 30meg a month. This doesn't work for me, as I'm usually around a wireless or wired connection during the daytime. Anyway the point is that mobile laptop data is become cheap and easy. If I can get a windows mobile phone to talk to a linux laptop, then anyone running windows or mac must be able to get theres up and running in minutes. But like before the data rates are better that ever. HSDPA (3.5g) is also pretty impressive, I was getting 400k down and 200k up in a starbucks in central Bristol. I expect in London I might get even more. This makes it a serious contender to the rip off wireless hotspots you find in some hotels and cafes up and down the country. Now if only the mobile operators would sort out international roaming data charges!

Ah I forgot to mention one thing.The bricked nature also comes from WMstorage, which basiclly turns your phone into a mass storage device or usb memory stick. Because I can't use activesync on linux this has been perfect for dragging files back and forth. However its never been reliable till now. So my phone sits there as a mini flashdrive and bluetooth modem but can still receive calls and texts if needed. Next step really is to pass some of that functionality on to my laptop instead.

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The Orange project revealed

Tom sent me a link to the guardian article titled Public get to star in Orange ads. It outlines exactly what the Orange project was about. Because of the registration I'll blockquote the important parts.

Orange has turned to Pop Idol-style auditions to find members of the public to appear in an advertising campaign, with the chosen “stars” encouraged to record footage to be put on websites such as YouTube.

Candidates for the ads, which launch on August 1, were found through a text message and press campaign asking for people to take part in the filming of “a secret project in a stunning location”.

The campaign will form the latest stage of the mobile operator's “Animals” campaign – featuring a raccoon, canary, dolphin and panther – with each designed to represent the usage habits of different types of customer.

People who responded to the ads were interviewed and divided into the each of the animal personality groups. For example, dolphins are fun-loving people like Cheryl Tweedy and Charlotte Church, while raccoons are more like Carol Vorderman or Gordon Ramsay.

The four groups of people will be given a Big Brother-style task and the ads will film the different ways they tackle them.

The campaign, created by the agency Mother London, will comprise one 60-second “introductory” commercial and four 30-second spots focusing on the performance of each animal group.

Orange is hoping the posting of “making of” clips by consumers online will drum up word-of-mouth publicity about the campaign.

The ads are being filmed in Spain.

And to be honest it all makes sense when you look at the questions they asked you for while signing up. But generally its a let down and I'm kind of glad I didnt get on it.

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