RealTime IT News

Bidding Up the M-Commerce Game

Extending its reach farther into the mobile commerce space, online retailer Amazon.com launched Mobile Auctions, a wireless service that offers alerts and bidding capability in Amazon Auctions for mobile phone users.

Auction space competitor eBay last May launched eBay Anywhere, a mobile strategy that aims to make eBay accessible from WAP mobile phones and various PDAs. eBay teamed-up with 2Roam, which will format and deliver eBay's content for virtually any mobile device on any carrier network.

Most other auction sites already have or are soon going to offer similar wireless services as the concept of m-commerce (mobile commerce) gets more of a foothold in the market.

Amazon Anywhere will bring customers with wireless Internet-capable phones the ability to search for new auction items, enter and monitor bids and track sales directly from a handset.

Amazon said consumers can create their own custom alerts to be sent to their handsets or pagers notifying them of the status of their auctions.

"This way, instead of waiting by your computer for the outcome of your auction, you can simply set an alert and get on with your day," said Nayeem Islam, general manager of Amazon Anywhere. Customers can sign up for mobile alerts on the Amazon Auctions home page. Customers need a handset that can receive alphanumeric messages to receive alerts. Launched as a business division of Amazon.com in October 1999, Amazon Anywhere is available on Internet-ready phones and the Palm VII.