Much was made of the inclusion of SmartPhones.com into the RickLatona.com live domain auction at TRAFFIC Silicon Valley. The domain name received the standard domain industry press, and knowing Rick Latona, I am sure there were many end users emailed, called, and notified in other ways (probably some face to face meetings as well).
A competition was held to determine who could guess the selling price before the auction, and guesses ranged from $51,000 all the way to $3,500,000. Eventually the domain name ended up selling at auction for $95,000 – a good price, but less than what many people predicted.
I personally had my doubts about the worth of the domain name. In my opinion, I don’t ever recall referring to any mobile phone – from my first Motorola flip phone to my Blackberry – as a “smart phone.” I also felt the term could become dated when a new generation of phones came out. Because of this, I doubted the domain name would sell for very much.
Well, I was wrong. Thanks to a tip from Brian Null, I saw that the domain name is now owned by Samsung Electronics Co., the electronics giant and maker of smart phones and other mobile phones. Although it doesn’t look like they’ve launched a new website on the domain name yet, they are well positioned to do so.
The next time you are wondering if end users ever shop at domain auctions, you now have your answer. BTW, Rick Latona is still accepting domain submissions for the TRAFFIC auction in October.