Nowadays, many people, if not most use mobile phones of their own everyday everywhere. However, most mobile phone users, if not all know little about the history of cellular phones, especially the history of accessory resources like ringtones. Owing to the remarkable development in mobile phones, users are feeling new wants and are being exposed to new ideas and inventions, while seldom of them would like to focus on the process of how they develop. When asked the question that how much do you know about the history of ringtones, users may answer they know nothing about it. Since we pay too much attention to the trends instead of the history, it is high time we learned more about the history of ringtones.
The first commercial mobile phone with ringtones was Japanese NTT DoCoMo Digital Mova N103 Hyper by NEC, sold on May 1996. It had a few preset songs in MIDI format. Four months later, Digital Minimo D319 became the first mobile phone which a user could input an original melody, rather than the preset songs. These phones proved to be popular in Japan and the point is supported by the fact that the company of popular songs sold more than 3.5 million copies.
Finland became the place where the first downloadable mobile ringtone service was created and delivered in the autumn of 1998 when a Finnish mobile operator started their service called Harmonium. The service contained booth tools for individuals to create monophonic ringtones and a mechanism to deliver them over-the-air via SMS to a mobile handset.
Monophonic ringtones, polyphonic ringtones and true tones are three basic types of ringtones. Ring-tones became one of the most very first successful e-commerce services, with social media features like composing, sharing and rating ringtones.
The history of ringtones is a history of innovation. New ideas are put forward, while inventions are created one after another. Sales and marketing of ringtones is a prime example of vertical telecommunication convergence since it is true that ringtones generated more than $2 billion in annual worldwide revenues by 2005. Fortunately, we users benefit a lot from the remarkable development of ringtones.