Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leader in digital wireless communications and advanced electronic messaging solutions for the Internet, today announced it is making a sponsor-supported version of the full Eudora® email client available to users at no charge. Qualcomm's decision will mean a major, free upgrade for the estimated 16 million users of Eudora Light® (the less powerful freeware version of the software) and will give sponsors the opportunity to tap into Eudora's enormous installed base. A preview beta release of the new Eudora software is available beginning today at www.eudora.com, limited to 250,000 users. Commercial release is slated for the first quarter of 2000."Advertising pays for much of what is useful on the Web, but it has also made it a noisy and cluttered place," said Jeffrey K. Belk, vice president of Qualcomm and general manager of Qualcomm's Eudora Products. "Qualcomm has an heretical notion: Offer advertisers the opportunity to address Eudora users in a 'quiet room' -- where overly intrusive animation and sound would detract from the user's experience and the advertiser's results -- and give millions of email users the additional option of using the world's most powerful email management software for free. Because most Eudora users spend 30 minutes or more a day in email, we believe this quiet room will be a very attractive space for relationship marketing and e-commerce."Benefits to AdvertisersUnlike other advertising vehicles available on the Web, Eudora will give sponsors the ability to reach a large Internet audience for a definite period of time without competing messages. Because the Eudora software "knows" when a user is working in email, the software will display ads for the specified period of time only while the email program is in active use -- even when the user is in email off-line. And only one ad will be displayed at a time, maintaining a quiet, uncluttered environment. Sponsors' ad links also will be stored in Eudora's new Link History, a feature that will enable users to return to ads or offers of particular interest."I see the email client as an emerging marketplace in and of itself," said Kent Allen, electronic commerce research analyst for Aberdeen Group, Palo Alto, Calif. "Email has always been the Internet 'killer application' and Eudora has established itself as the prototypical email package. Now it can become the central location for all kinds of e-commerce activity."Based on past Eudora upgrade patterns, Qualcomm expects to have several million users of the sponsor-supported version by late spring 2000. This will put overall Eudora advertising capacity in the billions of impressions per month, which would springboard Qualcomm's Eudora to the top tier of Internet properties. Research indicates that Eudora users:
- Constitute one of the largest online communities in the world (Eudora Light and Eudora Pro® users combined represent more than 20 million users worldwide);
- Have twice the propensity to buy online as the average user of the Internet (33 percent buy online monthly);
- Spend significant amounts of time in email every day (42 percent spend 30-60 minutes/day, 25 percent spend 1-2 hours/day, 15 percent spend 2+ hours/day);
- Are brand loyal (73 percent have never switched email brands);
- On average have high annual household income (32 percent make $51-$100k/year; 16 percent make more than $100k/year); and
- Are balanced across the genders (57 percent male, 43 percent female).
Benefits to UsersQualcomm will no longer develop separate Eudora Pro and Light versions. Instead, users will be able to select any of three operating modes from within the same Eudora email client software:
- Sponsored mode: When this mode is selected, the user has the full-featured Eudora desktop email client at no charge. The software will display one at a time a series of static on-screen advertisements that do not interfere with the user's email workspace. The free download of Eudora installs in Sponsored mode.
- Paid mode: When this mode is selected, Eudora will guide the user through the payment process. Once the process is complete, the user has the full-featured Eudora software client without advertising. Qualcomm will continue to sell Eudora through major national computer retailers for customers who prefer to purchase the product in box form, as well as direct at www.eudora.com, and through electronic retailers. When a customer purchases the software at retail or via electronic download, Eudora installs in Paid mode and will not display advertising. The suggested retail price is $49.95, less a $10 mail-in rebate (rebate United States/Canada only).
- Light mode: This mode is an upgrade to the current Eudora Light, Qualcomm's freeware version of Eudora. However, it does not have as many features as the full client available in Sponsored and Paid modes. This version of Eudora email will include a sponsor image or logo, but no rotating advertising. Maintaining Privacy and the Eudora User Experience.
While meeting the needs of advertisers, Qualcomm also has taken into account users' privacy concerns and email management needs in designing the new Eudora. Users will be given Eudora without being required to fill out a profiling survey. Subsequent profiling will be on a voluntary basis only. Qualcomm will not give or sell user information to any company or individual and user-sponsor interaction will be strictly on a permission basis. Because Eudora represents a quiet uncluttered environment where users are engaged in the thoughtful activity of composing and reading email, advertising spots need not and should not detract from the user experience. Qualcomm's advertising design guidelines call for no animation or sound. However, advertisers have full freedom to be creative with the offers they make once the user has opted in by clicking on an ad."We believe the users that will be most attractive to advertisers will be those who have made a series of informed and deliberate decisions," Belk said. "These will be users who have chosen Eudora, operating in Sponsored mode, when they could have paid for the product without ads. They will be users who have chosen to offer profiling information because they want advertising and offers that are relevant to their interests, not because they were forced to fill out a survey to get the free software. In sum, this will be the best possible audience for sponsors' messages."New Model Ensures Long-term DevelopmentQualcomm developed this new software and business model in order to reassert its market leadership in what has become a "free" email environment. The company has chosen an implementation that continues to offer choice to users and stays true to Eudora's heritage as an Internet pioneer. Qualcomm will use the new business model as the platform from which it will drive long-term product development -- enhancements that will benefit Eudora's loyal user base, as well as new users."Because Qualcomm controls the development of an industrial-strength email management client, we will be able to offer a series of enhancements over time that will make Eudora an even more attractive program for users and advertising medium for sponsors," Belk said.Qualcomm's unique position -- spanning the converging wireless and Internet spaces -- will drive Eudora's development. First, the Company will develop more intelligent and efficient ways of managing users' burgeoning message load. Second, the company will extend the way users send and receive messages beyond the desktop computer into handheld and wireless devices. Qualcomm's development of PureVoice® speech coding technology and an email/browser suite for the Palm Computing® platform are early indicators of this direction.AvailabilityThe preview beta version of the new Eudora is available for download beginning today at www.eudora.com. Qualcomm will limit the preview to the first 250,000 active users. The commercial version is scheduled for release in North America in the first quarter of 2000. Qualcomm's republishing partner in Japan, KUNI Research, is expected to release the Japanese version by the end of the first quarter 2000. Qualcomm plans to release other foreign language versions of the new Eudora for Europe and Latin America by the end of 2000.Eudora, the world's premier email management client software, has garnered more than 70 industry awards and honors since it was first released commercially in 1993. Eudora is known for combining ease of use with extensive message management features that allow users to take control of their email. Today, there are more than 20 million Eudora users worldwide.Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the Company's CDMA digital technology. The Company's business areas include CDMA phones; integrated CDMA chipsets and system software; technology licensing; Eudora email software for Windows® and Macintosh® computing platforms; and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS® and portions of the Globalstar™ system. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in theS&P500 Index and is a 1999 FORTUNE 500® company traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol QCOM.Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, the Company's ability to successfully manufacture significant quantities of CDMA or other equipment on a timely and profitable basis, and those related to performance guarantees, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 26, 1999, and most recent Form 10-Q.Qualcomm, Eudora, Eudora Pro, Eudora Light, PureVoice and OmniTRACS are registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated. Palm Computing is a registered trademark of Palm Computing Inc., 3Com or its subsidiaries. Globalstar is a trademark of Loral Qualcomm Satellite Services, Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.