This just in - Amp'd mobile filed for Bankruptcy on June 1.
I hate to say this, but this does not shock me at all.
I predicted almost exactly one year ago today (June 6) that their would be an MVNO death spiral. Specifically, I predicted a massive collapse in the MVNO market within 2 years in my first sentence. I also called out the following MVNO players:
"Here are a few folks that have a long road ahead of them: ESPN Mobile and their incredibly high pricing strategy, Kajeet and their desire to go head to head with Disney Mobile (who only wants to extend the Disney brand and content), Liberty Wireless and their ability to gain new traction after their recent sale by Inphonic, and Amp'd Mobile who will go head to head with Boost and Helio for roughly the same demographic. And this is only a fraction of the players out there right now."
Then on September 29th 2006, I reported on the death of ESPN mobile. I then put forth my next prediction:
"Only time will tell. Unfortunately, I suspect I will be writing about another collapse fairly soon. My prediction? Between Amp'd, Kajeet, Disney and Helio - I foresee two of the four going belly up in the next 18 months."
I have another 4 months for one more to go, but I may be about 6 months off. I expect to either see Disney Mobile pulling the plug and focusing on their core business moving forward, or I see Kajeet running out of cash and waiving the white Flag. The next 6 months is critical for Kajeet. They are hiring outside sales staff now and have put some heavy advertising spend forward in recent months. I hope I am wrong, but recent events are not encouraging. The iPhone release will only make it tougher for folks like Helio, Boost and Amp'd.