They also claim that in 2011, over half of all mobile phones can be considered music phones with 941 million units shipped. MultiMedia Intelligence defines a music phone as a phone with two features: (1) Music codec functionality: MP3, AAC, etc. and (2) memory slot which allows for a full featured music experience by allowing the user to carry a personal music library. This is really only possible with expandable memory.
“Voice commoditisation and falling voice ARPU are driving a shift in wireless operators to focus on data revenue models and services,” according to Frank Dickson, Chief Research Officer for MultiMedia Intelligence. “Music has been the first ‘killer app’ for the operators to drive the consumption of premium content on the handset. As polyphonic ringtones gave way to realtones, operators found consumers desire to personalize their handsets as a way to enhance ARPUs. Music companies discovered a way to sell a form of music which was less susceptible to piracy and provides incremental revenue.”
However, realtones are but one form of cellular music enjoyed. As the ringback tones, full track downloads and streaming music markets join the ringtone market, the mobile music market promises to hit over US$6 billion in 2008. With such significant revenue and customer demand at stake, the operators and handset providers concerted efforts to use music as a central part of their handset strategies.
The recently launched Juke, manufactured by Samsung, has a swivel design which enables it to open 180 degrees to reveal the keypad. It features 2 GB of internal storage that complements the phone’s music player, which supports .mp3, .wma and unprotected .aac files. Other features include VGA camera with Nightshot, Bluetooth stereo support for listening to music and the ability to access Verizon Wireless’ popular services such as VZ NavigatorSM and ChaperoneSM.
Another recent handset introduction, the Sony Ericsson W910i Walkman phone capitalizes on the Walkman brand and is targeted as a “portable music device.” The SensMe feature picks songs or creates a playlist by mood. To randomly select a song, the user only needs to flick of the wrist and use “Shake control.” The device features a 262, 44 color TFT, 240×320 pixel display and Memory Stick Micro support (up to 4 GB) with 35 MB of internal memory.