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#72252 by Trinimd
Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:58 pm
Just got the email
Ooma mobile is out for Android

But its way over priced compared to Vonage.

Vonage mobile is free

Does Ooma do any research when pricing its product launch?
#72288 by Trinimd
Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:28 pm
Yea but why is the app $9.99?
Your still having to pay for the international calls right?
#72331 by daet
Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:25 am
Trinimd wrote:Vonage mobile is free

You cannot compare Vonage mobile and Ooma mobile. Vonage mobile only lets you call your Facebook friends who also use Vonage mobile. At least that's what the current Vonage mobile app on the Android Marketplace and iPhone App Store does. Vonage has no plans to release a new version of Vonage mobile that lets you call a telephone number.

So, if you need to call Facebook users who also use Vonage mobile on their phones, iPad or iPod touch - then you should use Vonage mobile - the calls are free. You could also use Skype to call other Skype users for free. It works better than Vonage mobile over 3G or WiFi.

But to call regular phones, you need Ooma mobile (or another SIP application that supports any other SIP provider). I used to use csipsimple with Gizmo5.
#72334 by southsound
Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:07 am
A long time ago there was discussion about the Vonage mobile app on the original ooma iPhone app thread. I decided, out of curiousity, to install it. I have never had a real Vonage account and still show a $0.00 balance. But I am able to make calls with my iPod Touch without a problem. Of course, on the Touch (2nd generation) you need to use an earset with microphone, but that's true of the ooma app as well. I made a call with it last evening and it worked just fine. Sorry but I can't remember the exact details for setting it up without an active Vonage account but maybe someone else can supply the details. Note that the CID sent to the called party is a HUGE string of numbers. In my case, I use it mostly for testing so it doesn't matter. I still prefer my ooma mobile account.

Note: just noticed that lbmofo found my post after installing the app and has posted the link above this post. Thanks, Li.
#72403 by oomg
Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:53 am
For another alternative, consider the toktumi Line2... no contract (and a 30 day free trial). Their Android app should be available in the very near future.

I originally acquired a toktumi line (and toll free number; i.e. 888) in order to have a toll free number for my customers to call. When I got an iPhone, I found out that Line2 is included at no additional charge. My toktumi service is a virtual PBX at $14.95/mo. Works very well and a great compliment to my Ooma service. A pared down version of Line2 is available for $9.95/mo or $49.95 for six months (which includes unlimited texting), and I believe the app is free. Where else can one obtain unlimited "cell phone" (and texting) service for $10 per month (assuming wifi is always available) with no contractual commitment.

While the Ooma app costs $10, Ooma's mobile service will only add $5/mo to your Ooma bill if you are a Premier subscriber
(but that price does not include unlimited text messages) for 1250 minutes. I don't consider the 1250 minute limitation to be significant as I still have all my cell carrier minutes (including free nights, weekends and m2m) available. So, I guess that for comparison purposes, the payback for the Ooma Mobile app vis-a-vis Toktumi would be two months.

If you want to look at Toktumi and Line2, see:
http://www.line2.com/apple_ipod_touch.html

For more info on Toktumi: http://toktumi.com/

And don't get me wrong, I currently have three Ooma systems and have every intention of keeping all three. My toktumi service is and will remain a compliment to my ooma service.
#72448 by DTMF
Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:02 pm
Trinimd wrote:Yea but why is the app $9.99?

The engineering challenge to produce an app like this is significant, since there are many components that are NOT available as open source. In order to achieve it, Ooma may have licensed code for the app from external developers that wanted either a high upfront payment or a fee per copy that is sold. The fee you pay would be used to pay those developers.

Even in the unlikely case that the development was all in-house, an app like this would represent a substantial investment in person-hours. It's natural for the company to want to recover that investment.
#72510 by oomg
Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:53 am
DTMF wrote:
Trinimd wrote:Yea but why is the app $9.99?

The engineering challenge to produce an app like this is significant, since there are many components that are NOT available as open source. In order to achieve it, Ooma may have licensed code for the app from external developers that wanted either a high upfront payment or a fee per copy that is sold. The fee you pay would be used to pay those developers.

Even in the unlikely case that the development was all in-house, an app like this would represent a substantial investment in person-hours. It's natural for the company to want to recover that investment.


While I do not disagree with DTMF, I think the query questions why Ooma's app is $10 while other similar apps are either free or available at a nominal price; e.g. $0.99. For example, the Toktumi Line2 app is free. However, the minimum monthly fee for Line2 ($10) is approximately two times the amount Ooma charges a Premier subscriber for 1250 minutes of VOIP calling on a smartphone. Since Line2 is unlimited (sort of), for purposes of this discussion, I am assuming that a Premier subscriber would not likely ever exceed the 1250 minute level of calling time. I rather suspect that the development effort was similar. Thus, it is simply a marketing decision; does the provider ask for more money up front, or alternatively, bet that the subscriber will stay around. Of course, one could argue that the initial investment will tend to keep subscribers so long as the service is good. However, I believe it could be argued just as effectively that having little or no initial investment would tend to attract customers who want to try the product without having to incur an investment or long term commitment. In my opinion, the $10 app fee sends many potential users to other providers who offer a trial for little or no upfront money.

If I were on Ooma's marketing team (and assuming for the sake of this discussion only, that I had some degree of competency to offer any advice at all), I would consider a synergistic approach; i.e. use Ooma Mobile via free app to entice current Ooma Core (basic service) users to upgrade to Premier (e.g. free app to any Premier subscriber), and in addition, offer the app free to the general public (i.e., non Ooma subs) coupled with a price break for Ooma Premier customers (e.g. $5/mo for Premier vs. $8 or ??/mo for all others) which of course would be intended to encourage those who have tried the app (and like it enough to continue using it) to add Ooma Core or Premier service. I would also consider offering a free 30 day trial. Toktumi has used a similar approach to market their primary "Virtual PBX" service as well as their Line2 service, and it seems to be working very well.

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