iPod vs. Cell Phone: A Mobile Music Revolution?
In 2006, a nascent market for music-enabled mobile phones was emerging to challenge Apple Computer's dominant position in the digital music industry. Through its iPod line of portable digital music devices and its iTunes Music Store, Apple controlled more than half of the market for both music player hardware and online music sales. But the evolving ability to merge those devices with mobile phones, and to deliver music to mobile handsets (via streaming, side-loading content from a PC or downloading it wirelessly over the air), created a potentially market-changing opportunity for players in several industries. Examines the key players, including Apple; the major wireless service carriers, such as Cingular, Sprint-Nextel, and Verizon Wireless; technology and service vendors, such as RealNetworks and Microsoft; and mobile virtual network operators, such as Virgin Mobile. Covers the origins of the mobile music business, projections on its potential size, its technological building blocks (such as file formats, digital rights management systems, wireless network infrastructure, and handset capacity), and the key dynamics--music delivery method, pricing, mobile-PC integration--that characterize mobile music business models.