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PHONE

Danish smartphone start-up ID2me flops after a year

The Danish smartphone start-up which hoped take on Apple and Samsung with its ID1 phone has filed for bankruptcy just a year after launch.

Danish smartphone start-up ID2me flops after a year
The ID1 phone offered quicker use of apps using one and two-finger gestures. Photo. ID2me screen grab
ID2me, founded by former Nokia executive Christina Agger, launched in January last year, aiming to target younger users with a circular 'drag 'n release' interface that would cut the number of clicks required to carry out tasks, making for a faster experience. 
 
“We believe that the time has come to provide structure for the smartphone platform and design a simpler way to navigate your phone,” it explained on its website, arguing its system offered “a far more logical structure for your Android phone”.  
 
It hoped to allow users to find applications by feel using instant vibration, allowing them to operate their phones without looking at the screen.
 
But according to Denmark’s Finans newspaper, bankruptcy proceedings for the company have now been published in Statstidende, Denmark’s official gazette, with the international firm EY appointed liquidator. 
 
Lisa Bo Larsen, the partner handling the insolvency for EY confirmed to the newspaper that the bankruptcy was taking place. 
 
Agger could not be reached for comment on Friday, but according to Finans, she had previously claimed to have staked everything on her company’s success. 
 
“Everything has been mortgaged and the car has been sold, so I’m in with all my skin and hair and soul,” she told the newspaper. “It requires a lot from your family when you work all the time and are not paid, but that is probably how it is for all entrepreneurs.” 
 
Agger had received most of her financing from the family fund of Lisbeth Enø, the designer who helped make the Danish jewellery company Pandora a runaway success. 
 
The phone was initially sold in Danish branches of the Scandinavian electronics giant Elgiganten, but the chain stopped stocking it after just two months when the company was forced to slash the phone's price from 4,000 to 3,000 Danish krone ($570-$430). 
 
Agger launched the phone with outdoor advertising campaign run across Denmark, and also opened launched an ID Lab in Copenhagen, where people could try out the unusual interface. 
 
Beneath the interface, the phone was a standard android phone produced in China. 
 
 
Here's a YouTube video by reviewer Lutz Herkner showing how the interface works. 
 

SHOPPING

Danish supermarkets allow paying by phone

Danish consumers have long demanded the ability to pay for goods directly from their smartphones and now it’s coming.

Danish supermarkets allow paying by phone
The trial programme got underway Wednesday in Aarhus. Photo: Claus Sjödin
Danish consumers have long demanded the ability to pay for goods directly from their smartphones and now it’s coming, in a limited version anyway. 
 
The supermarket chain Dansk Supermarked – which operates Netto, Føtex, Bilka and Salling stores – has announced a partnership with Danske Bank that will soon allow shoppers to pay with their phone at the chain’s 556 stores nationwide. 
 
The supermarket said in a press release Wednesday that it is rolling out a trial programme using Danske Bank’s MobilePay platform, which is one of the biggest mobile payment players within the Danish market.
 
“We believe that this will be the mobile payment solution of the future for large chains in the Danish retail branch. It is a very customer-friendly and intuitive solution in which you receive the amount directly on your mobile screen and approve the payment with a swipe,” Kenneth Nielsen, Dansk Supermarked’s head of e-commerce, said. 
 
The trial is already underway at a Føtex location in Aarhus, but the company said that “after a trial period, the solution can quickly spread to all” of the chain’s stores. 
 
Nielsen said that customers shouldn’t fear having to embrace the new system if they don’t want to. 
 
“We have over 200 million payments per year in Denmark. I wouldn’t be surprised if five percent of them come via mobile phones by next summer. But it’s up to the customer to decide. We are still very happy with the Dankort [national debit card, ed.] and we see mobile payments as a new and promising supplement to cards and cash,” he said. 
 
Analysts said that the new partnership would likely prompt other Danish companies to jump on the mobile payment bandwagon. 
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