America Online Inc. will try to heighten its appeal to users of mobile devices with its planned launch on Monday of a Web storefront for mobile wares and of a revamped mobile version of the AOL.com portal.
AOL's storefront for mobile services, phones and accessories, called AOLMobile.com, has been available in public beta for several weeks at http://www.aolmobile.com,
where its full-featured version will debut on Monday, an AOL spokeswoman said.
AOLMobile.com, which is meant to be accessed from a regular PC-based browser and not from a mobile device, will feature promotions and discounts as well as showcasing the latest mobile wares.
Visitors to AOLMobile.com will also be able to customize the information they see on the site. For example, a user will be able to configure the site to show him the products and services that his existing mobile device and service plan support, or, more broadly, the service plan and device options available in his geographic area, the spokeswoman said. AOLMobile.com is for U.S. users only.
A feature that will be launched later this year, called Account Management, will allow users to check their mobile usage and pay their mobile service bills using the AOL Bill Pay service.
Meanwhile, AOL also plans to broaden the range of services it offers on the mobile version of its AOL.com portal, which can be accessed from mobile devices equipped with a browser.
The new mobile portal will now support WAP 2.0, whereas the current one, launched in 2001, supports WAP 1.0, the spokeswoman said.
New features of the mobile portal include search engines and the AOL Pictures photo album service for all users, as well as access to AOL Mail for AOL subscribers, she said. Later, the portal will also provide access to the free AIM Mail Web mail service, she said. Source