The real breakthrough comes when standard MIDI files can be widely used on
polyphonic phones as ringtones. This will allow phone users to gain access to a
huge archive of quality MIDI music, ranging from classical music to the latest
pop songs. The use of MIDI--an open standard--will also play a part in driving
demand across all phone brands.
The Sanyo SCH-5000 and SCH-6000 handsets already allow standard MIDI files from
the Web to be uploaded onto the phones as ringtones. Samsung and Taiwan's OKWAP
phones make use of Yamaha technology, which is MIDI-compatible.
According to Shuster, future Nokia phones will support SP Scalable Polyphonic
MIDI, which is approved by the MIDI Manufacturers Association.
Companies are set to reap the benefits of such MIDI ringtones.
Ricky Lam, senior marketing manager of Samsung Asia, believes Web sites will
soon be offering free polyphonic ringtones for drawing Web traffic.
About.com is already employing this strategy. The site features free MIDI
ringtone downloads for Sanyo handsets, composed by Martin Plante, the site's
in-house ringtone artiste.
Samsung itself hopes to harness the anticipated MIDI-polyphonic wave in another
way. According to a representative, the Korean company sees polyphonic ringtones
as the next trend and hopes to use such downloads to drive the use of mobile
"We are not going in the direction of providing direct PC data connections for
our phones," said Simon. "Instead we are pushing for OTA (over-the-air)
polyphonic downloads via WAP."
Nokia also has plans to offer polyphonic ringtone downloads through Club Nokia
once it releases compatible handsets.