Helio Closes Its Doors

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Helio plus Virgin MobileYesterday it was announced that Virgin Mobile would buy Helio for $39 million. Helio has been one of my favorite businesses/products since their inception. I love the design of the Ocean and wish that the iPhone would utilize some of the design ideas.

Since the demise of Amp’d there have been questions about the health and well being of Helio, which were only magnified when Earthlink founder Sky Dayton stepped down as CEO earlier this year.

When I went shopping for a Helio Ocean earlier this year I ended up in one of their stores in Cherry Creek. (Many stores have been shut down.) The sales person was a very young girl and knew everything about the device. She told me she loved her Ocean and when I asked her why, she replied; “It’s the closest thing to a computer that I can make calls from.”

I have to say that lately I have been paying attention to how the younger generation is using their cell and much to my surprise, there are a lot of people making calls on them. I think there are still going to be kids that don’t have “the knack” when it comes to technology no matter how accessible we make it. Of course the real taste makers are the technologically elite.

I do think that the acquisition is a win for consumers. Virgin Mobile has always offered cutting edge services (not to mention commercials) but have seriously lacked when it came to hardware. Now that issue could be resolved with the release of the Ocean 2 and other phones.

As for remembering Helio as it was, I offer this video and would politely ask for a moment of silence.

By Michael Myers

I’m an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I’m currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I’m passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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