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Music phones looking at brighter future

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 17 Feb 2007 15:48 User comments (3)

Music phones looking at brighter future As technology advances and more data can be crammed into smaller HDDs and solid-state memory chips, the future looks much brighter for music-capable mobile phones. At 3GSM this year, multimedia phones were shown off with unique style and innovation that ensure they will move from retail shelves. Many have a small amount of internal memory to offer, but can be used with removable storage solutions.
The maximum capacity that removable memory cards can hold is increasing rapidly. "In the past, the doubling of capacity has been every 18 months. Now it is coming down close to 12 months." Sandisk's Dan Inbar said. "Of course the other side of that is the applications that go with it. Currently the applications are running very, very fast as well."

With developments in the area in the past couple of years, lots of companies are lining up to offer services to deliver premium content to these new phones. A lot of eyes are on Apple after the announcement of the iPhone. The past Apple / Motorola music phone venture failed and a major reason was the inability of the ROKR to download music over-the-air.

Now that Apple's new iPhone should have this capability, the rush is on to tackle the iPhone before it dominates. UK-based Omnifone is seeking to do just that by offering a subscription service to rival what will come from Apple. "Apple's business is an Apple-centric solution," said Rob Lewis, head of Omnifone. "Steve Jobs wants to be center stage of hardware and digital music sales."

He added: "We believe that together with 23 mobile operators and all the other manufacturers - who are already creating a billion devices every year - we can create a really compelling alternative for consumers that gives them the freedom to play and download music wherever they want on whatever device they want to buy."

For now, however, there is still a lot of improvement to be made in delivering music content to customers. Not only are full-track music downloads for mobile phones already considered too expensive, consumers also have to put up with hidden charges. "We have to give consumers confidence by making the pricing transparent. Customers have to know what they are going to pay when they buy it." said Andrew Bud of the Mobile Entertainment Forum.

He continued: "Today that is not the case, because today they can buy a full track download for £1.50 or a couple of dollars, but in many territories they will be charged an additional amount of money that is not clear and sometimes may be as high as £20 ($39) for the data download charges associated with that. And that's a real problem."

BBC News

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3 user comments

118.2.2007 0:33

See this article is right in a way that phones storage capacity is increasing, but this does not mean this will increase downloads off websites like Itunes or other websites.

They forget to realise users get tracks using other methods and can download their media using universal software that they do not have to lock into like itunes with ipod for example. Other types of download methods are like Bluetooth and Infared and even through USB Cable.

218.2.2007 3:26

a full track download for £1.50 or a couple of dollars, but in many territories they will be charged an additional amount of money that is not clear and sometimes may be as high as £20 ($39)
that´s ridiculous...

I have songs on my 1Gb phone but it still takes a lot of battery to keep it playing all day long...

319.2.2007 7:02

yeah they should improve the battery life on multimedia phones mine does not last long at all

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