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Mark Rejhon 09-01-2004 02:42 PM

New Idokorro telnet/SSH academic/student pricing!

The maker of the currently best mobile telnet/SSH program has announced student/academic pricing. They are a local company that I frequently correspond with for both MobileSSH and non-MobileSSH matters.

If a university needs to buy a copy, I am sure that Idokorro can help you make telnet/SSH affordable, down to as little as approximately one-tenth the original price -- just $19.90. Or if you are a student or professor that needs a single copy, then can obtain a pretty huge discount - perhaps as large a discount as 90%. However, you need to send a proof of academic status by email, fax, or postal mail.

I do not benefit nor earn commission from this post. But many people I know are madly hunting for a cheap telnet/SSH program.

Note: Please be nice to Idokorro here. Yes, I know the non-student price of $199 is overpriced for the average individual prosumer, however, it is relatively cheap for corporations considering other Blackberry admin software can cost over $1000. Even the nearest competitor, Sonic Mobility, starts at $250. I use the software daily, and none of the five alternatives I have tried proved suitable or as inexpensive despite $199, even though I could technically spend a hundred hours improving an open source alternative to my own specifications. Idokorro is mainly selling MobileSSH to corporations and institutions, although they are known to be happy to accomodate bulk-purchase discounts. Feel free to make suggestions. Also, Idokorro visits this forum and we do not want to scare them away. Plus, the competition are as follows:

The 5 most inexpensive alternatives I've found:
Idokorro -- $199 for corporations + unlimited hosts; and 90% discount to $19.90 for academic
NeedText Shell -- more expensive at $695 even for unlimited;
SonicMobility -- more expensive at $250 for single user/single host;
MuTelnet -- free; primitive; doesn't even accept keypresses on Blackberry; no source code
TelnetFloyd -- free; doesn't install properly

kirson 09-01-2004 05:48 PM


While I think this is a very good start on the part of Idokorro, I wish they would offer a discount for individuals wishing to use the application for non-business purposes. Like academic use, this should not undermine the intended customer base, but would allow many of us to enjoy this application at an appropriate price.


hidefguy 09-05-2004 03:55 PM

As someone who works in teaching/research I would be very interested in this - I couldn't find anything on the Idokorro web site about this, and they didn't return a call to their sales group - where did you hear of this?

Mark Rejhon 09-05-2004 05:20 PM

Here you go:

Click on the link "Click for Academic Pricing"

openflows 09-05-2004 05:21 PM

here is the url to make the request
here is the url

quite a fair deal if you ask me

Badgermac 09-07-2004 10:35 PM

Wished I had been a BB user back in June when I was still schooling it. Being an IT Dir. for a school district disqualifies me from getting the cheap price.

magmic 09-11-2004 07:31 PM

You also get Magmic's Texas Hold'em poker with the purchase...

headtailgrep 09-12-2004 02:30 AM

How many students can afford a Blackberry? (The service, not the device...) I certainly would not pay for it when I was a student, that's a lot of coin that i could have been spendig on tuition and beer..

I've heard of some schools possibly deploying some to students, but this number would be relatively low..

Maybe this will pick up in the near future..

This pricing makes much more sense however, I would be happy to pay approximately this price, however i don't qualify for academic pricing, and $199 from any company for telnet/ssh is just not something i'm willing to do.

How about a cheap version with just telnet, NO ssh? Corporations serious about their administrative setup will want ssh support and pay for it. Telnet however is an option for personal users with nothing to hide..

With public MDS support, everything will change. Since you can no longer assume that your telnet/ssh marketbase has spent considerable amounts of cash on their blackberry infrastructure to have the ability to use the software in the first place (except nexttel users), those who have not are now in the market for their software..

which means either the price lowers, an alternative (telnet only) is released, or someone will create a new open-source Midlet alternative and drive the market for this cheaper..

The larger the BB marketshare, the better the chances of the above occuring.

d123456 09-12-2004 10:28 PM

you have to admit its a start, and i thank them for that!
hopefully more compaines will see this and offer discounts like this with and without the academic part.


headtailgrep 09-12-2004 10:40 PM

Agreed! I just posted my thoughts as we all know they are reading this =)

Mark Rejhon 09-13-2004 12:18 PM

I have a feeling that, since there's so many free telnet source code samples (it only requires approximately 100-200 lines of programming or so to write a simple plaintext-only telnet client, without VT100 -- Sun's J2ME Source Code Example), people are likely going to just start making or selling inexpensive telnet clients once the Blackberry has more prosumers who also need to access their home MacOSX and Linux boxes. TelnetFloyd, an open source project, is already running on several cellphones, and somebody is liable to fix it eventually to work on BlackBerry.

Idokorro used to sell at $99 before raising to $199, presumably because the market was small for a telnet/SSH client and all the sales they were getting were pretty much from corporations large enough to afford a BES server.

However, that still has not happened yet, and some of us are willing to pay a more full price such as $99 or $199. Like I did. Idokorro is also the only way I can make successful relay phone calls (for the deaf) at maximum speed I can thumbtype at telnet:// (MCI's own wireless version of ) and my own personal relay server I developed on my Linux box for Canadian relay use.

Realistically, I think it possible (you never know -- they may only stick to big corporations) Idokorro may adjust prices to reflect major BlackBerry market changes with public MDS being common, since their cellphone telnet/ssh is only $45. It seems as if it could theoretically happen, some kind of a slight price equallization even if they keep the BlackBerry version a bit more expensive. If this happens, I predict this will happen sometime mid-2005 because that is when all the North American carriers will have deployed public MDS. (Some carriers sooner such as Rogers this November). From a business perspective, I would assume Idokorro will need to capture as much profit as possible before lowering prices hopefully before a better alternative hits the market.

I have no idea of Idokorro's plans, but I can figure out why they had to raise the price from $99 to $199 -- it happens with virtually nonexistent prosumers and nonexistent small businesses, but large corporations don't often care as much as the smaller ones about the price difference between $99 and $199 when lots of other software they buy costs thousands. Now that BES are moving into smaller businesses and now you will soon get telnet with needing BES/MDS, every single Blackberry user will be a market target if at least one system they own is telnet-accessible.

It could happen eventually, because I am starting to notice an explosion of J2ME telnet software -- it's a matter of time one of these ends up working on BlackBerry too. MuTelnet from actually displays the login prompt but I can't thumbtype. It's also more primitive. Another J2ME program, FloydTelnet and FloydSSH, does full color ANSI (VT102), but fails to install on my BlackBerry part of the way through the over-the-air download.

Even if Idokorro keeps the price up longer-term, big corporations may prefer the full tech support of Idokorro even with the prescence of, say, a working free TelnetFloyd on BlackBerry. Much like they will pay for Linux rather than getting a free distribution. Some small corporations and individuals (students, etc) may prefer a free option if it works good enough.

Also look at selling desktop telnet/SSH software at prices not too far off from Idokorro's own .... This is a very popular SSH client called SecureCRT for Windows -- and it costs a whopping $99 -- even though there are free SSH programs available for Windows! I used their earliuer product back in 1995 when NTCRT first came out, and they have grown quite a lot to what appears to be a very profitable company. I still use their product even after almost 10 years and it is one of the superior SSH clients for Windows. I highly recommend it. (Mind you, they sell a telnet-only version for only $34.95). So it is, indeed, possible Idokorro will not lower prices, or only lower to $99 or thereabouts. They might, for example improve MobileSSH to do full color ANSI/VT100 support as well as do a higher performance buffering systems, etc. Or release a telnet-only version for cheaper. I do hope that Idokorro is happy to expand their market to prosumers, but we can't necessarily expect them to do so -- assuming the BlackBerry market is big enough, and their telnet/SSH remains good enough compared to competition, they may still find profit in continuing a fairly high price.

I do think that $99 should be the new sweet spot that doesn't damage Idokorro themselves -- there's an inverse exponential relationship, and when the market is big enough, it can be lucrative -- selling 4 times as many at half the price -- resulting in twice the profit -- it definitely was possible the BlackBerry market is not big enough for them to be profitable at a lower price. Not anymore during 2005 when public MDS is common. When a market is smaller, selling only 1.5 as much at half the price is NOT more profitable than selling at the original price (Exception: Unless it results in other revenue, such as subscriber revenue) And you need to typically sell at least 2x more copies at half price, to make price-reduction a more profitable decision, and this doesn't take into account of tech support costs per customer! Now, there are other decision factors, such as cannibalization of sales of more expensive software, like their MobileAdmin product, they obviously don't want to do that. So it's a delicate balance. However, they advertise the cellphone software at $45, and thus, I think $99 for the Blackberry version should be the new lower price, and I would recommend to Idokorro to seriously consider that pricepoint sometime during the year 2005.

Either way, I respect Idokorro's businesses -- they do understandably need to walk the fine line somewhere, selling to bigger corporations with excellent technical support. They actually fixed some obscure bugs I noticed and reported, so I would vouch for the good support that Idokorro gives to customers. A popular argument is why buy Linux because it's free, but some do buy it anyway!

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