Mobile World Congress: Did the mainstream media notice?

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Why pay for premium wall-papers, when I get them for free?

Is just the question I’m asking!

You see, the other day I was sitting in the School Library working hard on a piece of History work, when a class came in and began working on the available computers. The class was a mixture of boys and girls who were thirteen/fourteen years young.
A group of these boys, who were sitting in front of me, immediately used the internet to find pictures of action-hero/game characters to photograph on their phones to use as wall-papers.

And you know what?
It made me realise… What is the point in having premium products when pretty much anything you could ask for is readily available on the internet for free?

Personally, I’ve NEVER bought a ringtone, wall-paper, game, application or anything of the sort. I know for one fact, it’s a con. I’ll end up being tied to an endless subscription of other crap I don’t want, and costing me the earth to fund too! But also I know I can get whatever I want, whenever I want it, completely free.

I’ve never completely understood why at least presently, why companies such as Jamster, or the dozens of others who offer such a costly services still manage to get customers. Then again, people will never cease to amaze me!

However, say my Mum for instance, a perfect example of someone who doesn’t quite comprehend how much of a rip-off the Ringtone/wallpaper business is.
About a year or so ago she went through this phase of buying ringtones from T-Mobile. Now a ringtone according to T-Mobile was a thirty second, low quality clip from a song. Now my Mum over a period of say half a year bought only around two or three, but it actually set her back £2.50 per tone.

That’s £2.50 for a poor sounding, thirty second sample of a song. iTunes (as much as I dislike the service) offers a full track for 79p. How on earth does this make any sense?

Of course, me being the money-tight, and scared of spending person that I am, told my Mum off several times for such lavish expenditure on such a poor quality product. However, it was a case of, “I want, I get”.

I think the same can be said to the other more “adult” services which are available to mobile users. Dare I reiterate the countless adverts that appear on several channels after ten o’clock – but the point is people pay (quite a lot) for something which they can get for free. I don’t understand it, but I’m not going to try and understand it.

Although saying that, I wonder how much of a future these companies have. I can only imagine (and hope really), that as we get more technologically in gear, and as new generations become more equipped to the world of mobiles and computers that maybe in the near future such rip-off schemes may not exist.
I can’t blame T-Mobile, Jamster, or any of the other companies mainly for this; as actually I think its part stupidity on our behalf too. It’s just amazing how thirteen year olds are already grasping the concept of getting what they want for no cost. As Bluetooth, and probably, better technologies come into existence, I can only imagine that sharing, and moving our media around devices will only get easier, and quicker.

I can also only hope for the sanity of myself, and quite possibly many others, as dodgy ringtone manufacturers will cease to exist. Stick a nice classical piece as your ringtone – it’s what I’ve done!

Send any e-mails, questions or anything else to samantha@mobileindustryreview.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. I think it boils down to laziness in some cases. It's easier to buy a ringtone – rather than download a song, convert it to MP3 (if not already), put it in an editing package, splice out the bit you want, send to phone. It's like buying chopped mushrooms from the supermarket really – people do, because we can be lazy.

    K

  2. Two choices – which is for you?
    1) Search for an image online. Go through several pages. Select the best image. Download. Find a good image editor. Crop the bits that you want. Resample to phone screen resolution. Transfer over.
    Or,
    2) pay 50p, click, download.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay for a picture or a ringtone because I have the time, patience and – above all – skill to create my own.

    I'm also prepared to wait a few weeks / months after a DVD is released so that I end up paying £5 rather than £18.

    But some people really have no patience. £2.50 represents about half an hour of work (assuming minimum wage) – so would you rather spend an hour doing something boring like creating your ringtone, or pay someone else to do it?

    It's one of the reasons why I don't believe DRM for digital content is needed. It's so trivially easy to transfer unprotected content around – yet the premium content market is hardly in the poor house.

    T
    (Usual work related disclaimers here)

  3. google the name of the walpaper you are looking for and click on images. bingo.
    ringtones, themes, and wallpapers are endless in zedge.net as well as many other mobile forums.

  4. Yeah, I agree. Then again, I'm someone who wouldn't eat pre-chopped mushrooms. For some bizarre reason I enjoy cutting them myself. However, that's besides the point.

    People are lazy, but it's just bizarre how much money is to be made from it.

    Samantha.

  5. Yeah, I agree. Then again, I'm someone who wouldn't eat pre-chopped mushrooms. For some bizarre reason I enjoy cutting them myself. However, that's besides the point.

    People are lazy, but it's just bizarre how much money is to be made from it.

    Samantha.

  6. The young have no money but lots of time whereas the rest of us have no time but loads of….negative equity??

    Teeagers today are just wired never to pay for anything off the Internet. The look on my cousin's face when I told him I have an Itunes account. He was like, are you MAD? Personally, I just can't be bothered converting files etc etc.

  7. Two choices – which is for you?
    1) Search for an image online. Go through several pages. Select the best image. Download. Find a good image editor. Crop the bits that you want. Resample to phone screen resolution. Transfer over.
    Or,
    2) pay 50p, click, download.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay for a picture or a ringtone because I have the time, patience and – above all – skill to create my own.

    I'm also prepared to wait a few weeks / months after a DVD is released so that I end up paying £5 rather than £18.

    But some people really have no patience. £2.50 represents about half an hour of work (assuming minimum wage) – so would you rather spend an hour doing something boring like creating your ringtone, or pay someone else to do it?

    It's one of the reasons why I don't believe DRM for digital content is needed. It's so trivially easy to transfer unprotected content around – yet the premium content market is hardly in the poor house.

    T
    (Usual work related disclaimers here)

  8. google the name of the wallpaper you are looking for and click on images. bingo.
    ringtones, themes, and wallpapers are endless in zedge.net as well as many other mobile forums.

  9. Yeah, I agree. Then again, I'm someone who wouldn't eat pre-chopped mushrooms. For some bizarre reason I enjoy cutting them myself. However, that's besides the point.

    People are lazy, but it's just bizarre how much money is to be made from it.

    Samantha.

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