updated 04:45 pm EDT, Mon March 24, 2008
Study on Music Phones
Fully half of all phones shipped in the world will be music-capable within three years, according to a study by MultiMedia Intelligence. The research group estimates that while the cellphone market will largely remain flat, with 941 million phones being sold in 2011, about 50 percent of those devices will have at least some level music playback. This includes both high-end devices as well any phone that offers at least support for non-ringtone music files and a memory slot, the company said.
MMI does not say whether the reference to a slot excludes devices with large amounts of built-in storage but which lack removable cards, such as the iPhone or Nokia's N95 8GB.
The surge in music is also cited as one of the key drivers behind future success for cellular carriers, which have often struggled to have customers spend extra on services and third-party applications. Music stores and an emphasis on music phones should be the "killer app" for providers that results in $6 billion in mobile music business just for 2008 alone, says MMI chief researcher Frank Dickson.
The study comes at a time when the first carrier-independent music stores are opening and are shifting some music revenue away from the carrier model. Apple offers its iTunes Store for iPhone users connecting via Wi-Fi, while Nokia has been gradually introducing the Nokia Music Store across multiple countries and for any provider with a fast-enough cellular Internet connection. [via Crave]