Domain Names are in the news again over at the Miami Herald, which covered them for a second time in a month (They wrote a story on DomainFest as well).
This time its the .Mobi extension that get covered by the south Florida publication.
Once again the domain king, Rick Schwartz is quoted extensively, this time in regards to his record setting purchase of Flowers.mobi for $200K back in 2006.
The newspapers comments on .Mobi, are less than kind:
“Schwartz and other Internet tycoons who paid tens of thousands or more scooping up domain names that end in “.mobi”, which are designed to be easily viewed on mobile screens, have found the names are now all but worthless.”
“Before the bottom fell out, there were some eye-opening sales in mobi. Poker.mobi was purchased in 2007 for $150,000 — but fast-forward to today, and it only has basic instructions on how to play the game.”
“Also in 2007, ringtones.mobi sold for $145,000 and news.mobi sold $110,000 — both of which don’t have any content besides a few ads. SportsBook.mobi, which someone bought for $129,800, still says “coming in 2007.” Casino.mobi was the star of 2009, when it sold for $135,000, brokered by Pompano Beach-based Moniker, an Oversee company.”
Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, is quoted in the article as saying:
“Those who invested in dot mobi domain names missed the moment and are pretty much out luck. Investors trying to sell those names today are just really hoping that somebody is going to be a bigger sucker than them.”
Personally I still have around 30 .mobi I acquired on the release and never bought a .mobi in the aftermarket.
Most of the domains cited by the artcile, we bought back win 2006, when .Mobi was just released and before the iPhone came out including Flowers.Mobi
While most people will put flowers.mobi on top of their worst domain purchases of all time, my spot belongs to the $135K purchase of Casino.mobi.
For those early investors in 2006, .Mobi was just a shot, which did not pan out, but it the extension did make some sense at the time.
In theory a mobile application extension seemed to be needed for the ever growing use of mobile devices. (otherwise the extension would never have been approved)
So those investors who bought .mobi based on what they saw at the time, which was a huge move by users to mobile devices coupled with an extension & Technology to create websites for mobile devices, it made sense.
However, In the case of Casino.Mobi the buyer has no excuse as that sale did not occur until 2009 well after the iPhone made it clear to most domainers that the extension purpose to exist no longer existed.
Therefore IMHO, Casinos.mobi, was buy far the worst .Mobi buy of all time.