Music on your mobile? Pah!

I was reading Jeff Croft‘s latest post about just how much he thinks mobile companies are going to rip people off to download music over their networks. In the comments, Jared Christiensen asks a perfectly valid question:

Why on earth would anyone want to buy music and listen to it on a cellphone?

Well as of right now, I don’t think you would. But lets look forward a little bit.

There are current generation mobiles that are able to play mp3 (etc) music files, and have 32mb or so of memory on board. Some of these can even extend that with flash memory cards. What’s more, you can get 4gb flash cards these days. It won’t be all that long before they become relatively cheap.

Add those two together and you’ve got a mobile phone with 4gb of storage that’s perfectly capable of playing music. Do you see what we’ve made? That’s absolutely right: Its an iPod mini phone.

No doubt its got a colour screen, a camera, a basic organiser and some games on it too, not to mention the bluetooth capability. Its a wireless iPod photo mini phone. And lets be clear on this: It won’t be too long before these things sprout hard drives, giving them proper amounts of storage.

The iPod will be well and truly out of a job. After all, why would you carry an iPod (or whatever) and a phone about in your pocket when you can have one device that does the job of both? That is why Apple have hopped into bed with Motorola and created the iTunes phone. They can see exactly where the smartphone market is going. Its going to trample all over their biggest market.

Of course that doesn’t necessarily answer the question Jared posed. That one’s obvious: Because you can!

16 Responses to “Music on your mobile? Pah!”

1. matt

The iPodPhone, (iPhone?)’s development/rollout has been slowed somewhat by networks worrying that they will lose a lot of business if peopel use iTunes to download music as most of the money in mobile communication actualle comes from customers buying ringtones and other annoying novelties.

I am not sure what the exact situation is, but if you can fill a phone with mp3 then why have ringtones that cost a couple of quid each?

The iPod phone will arrive, and then every ponce on the street can have another white gadget that shouts “MUG ME I HAVE SOME APPLE HARDWARE ON MY PERSON AND I AM TOO STUPID TO USE SOME MORE DICREET HEADPHONES”

ahem.. and it will be mega expensive too.

2. matt

P.S. I prefer to have my phone and ipod separate… why? because when the iPod breaks at least I still have my phone!


3. matt

P.P.S. the iPhone better look more apple than motorola.. infact if it doesn’t then no one will buy it.

I will stop commenting now.

4. Olly

Aye, but all these things are mega expensive to begin with, expecially when they say Apple on them. But competition will drive prices down, just as it has with every generation of mobile phone and music player to date.

As Jeff C said, why is anybody going to want to download music to their mobile at an inflated Vodafone price, when they can get it via their desktop internet connection for 1/4 the price? Its just not going to happen. Surely the general public isn’t that stupid? Oh, hang on…

5. Olly

Bah, I hit reply and find two more comments in front ;-)

People won’t have to buy it. It’ll be a free upgrade when they get their latest Vo2da Torange 3-mobile contract.

6. matt

YOu really think that Apple will want their product given away free?

Is it an mp3 player with a phone attached or a phone with iTunes onboard?

Different angle of marketing, I suspect it will be flash based (although when they have sold a few million units will up that to a HDD – when HDD’s are small enough, which someone has just done possible Toshiba)

You’e right about the tunes thing. I can see that mobile networks will end up in a spin when it happens. They will lose so much money they’ll not be able to pay for their 3G contracts!

7. Simon #2

ooh an apple phone… how great :o|

check out the sony ericsson W800i, its a walkman phone, but its not gay and white so no one will buy it.

Why dont people realise the white ipod headphones are poo? silly people.

8. Olly

YOu really think that Apple will want their product given away free?

Do you really think Nokia, Siemens, Panasonic, Motorola, SonyEricsson et al want to? I don’t think they have that much of a choice. That’s just the way the market works. I wonder though, will it be an Apple phone, or will it just be Apple’s software on board?

9. matt

I wonder though, will it be an Apple phone, or will it just be Apple’s software on board?

Yes, I did wonder that too. In terms of marketing an Apple phone has a lot more chic than a motorola one.

Going back to the Free Apple Phone thing, I meant less from a monetary point of view, more a ‘brand value’ view. Would Apple want to be associated with something that is seen as ‘cheap’ IYSWIM.

Like when Levis didn;t want supermarkets to sell their jeans as it would cheapen the brand name (incidently I believe that don’t care anymore and decided anyone can sell their jeans – probably when they realised not doing so would cost them millions)

Back to Apple again, I suppose giving a phone away for peanuts is good way to get people into the brand and then when they are there and on board with iTunes for mp3 downloads they have locked the user into the brand.

You know what.. I reckon it will be a Motorola phone, and in a few years if it’s proven to work, other companies will beg Apple to licence the software from them.. cunning apple.

waffle over.

10. Olly

Re cheapening the brand: See also iPod Shuffle and MacMini.

You can have mass-market success or be a premium brand – its very very difficult to do both at once (IMO). I think Apple are trying to find the middle ground.

11. matt

ah haa!

12. MikeD

I bought a 512MB SD card for 25 quid, stuck it in the top of my 40 quid Treo, downloaded some shareware ($15), bought a headphone adaptor to suit the stupid tiny jack socket in it and bingo – a combined phone, PDA, web browser, email terminal and MP3 player with about 10 albums on it for, what, 75 quid? Bargain.

Obviously it’s the size of a floor tile, but mleh.

13. matt

Congrats, you are the king of Techno

14. Donk

Got a 6230, bought a 512 mmc card, the nokia 94kbs aac files sound pretty damn good on the phone, hey presto 15 hours or so of music always in my pocket for £40. Not the easiest to setup but then we’re all IT geeks round here anyway

15. matt

I just ziptied my mobile to be ipod.

16. Olly

You mentalist :)