According to music chiefs, the year 2006 will be the year of multimedia music phones, which besides the occasional call, will enable users to download the latest hits and videos, watch TV, take photos and listen to radio.
Music chiefs have high hopes in mobile phones as a source for increasing revenues, having in mind that there are more than 1.5 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide and the fact that mobile music reportedly brought 40 percent of the 1.1 billion dollar revenues from digital music last year. In addition, according to a recent survey of the IFPI (the global record industry association) one in five of all mobile phone users listen to music on their phones.
Cellphone manufacturers have already started working in this direction. Sony Ericsson was the first to race ahead, launching its Walkman series of music phones last year. They were followed by several other devices with added music features, including some from Motorola. The multimedia music phones, which definitely draw the attention of music-lovers, however, are the Nokia N-series. Among them the sleek N91 stands out with its ability to store up to 3,000 songs.
Radio is the other feature, which is also expected by industry experts to become very common on mobile phones.