I guess it was only a matter of time before Apple announced their plans for monetizing ringtones for the iPhone, given how difficult they have made it to set custom ringtones by not allowing to use mp3 music files as ringtones, unlike most other mobile phones these days. It is expected that one of the new features that Apple will launch on Wednesday 9th September is the ability to purchase pre-made ringtones through iTunes.
The ringtone market worldwide is massive, and given the growth in sales of the iPhone, Apple clearly sees an opportunity to leverage that to add a few extra dollars to its bottomline by selling pre-made ringtones based on songs you can purchase from iTunes. It is expected that they will charge $1.29 or so for an individual ringtone, but cut that to just under $1 when you purchase the full song in addition . Although this does not sound that much, why should iPhone users have to pay extra to use a song as a ringtone as well as purchasing the song from Apple. In my opinion Apple is stretching their moneymaking machine a bit too far with this, risking annoying its iPhone customers. I see this as more of an annoyance than actual Apple providing me with an additional service.
Luckily there still is a way to get your custom ringtone made and onto your iPhone for free. Earlier we wrote a tutorial on how you can add free custom ringtones to your iPhone using only iTunes. The process of doing this is not too complicated if you know your way around the omputer/mac, and the feedback from our readers is that the tutorial is well explained and easy to follow. There are also plenty of comments from other readers that will be helpful if you need to troubleshoot.
As long as there is a way to get ringtones onto the iPhone for free I will not purchase any custom ringtones from iTunes out of principal. Luckily there are plenty more interesting things to expect from the coming Apple iPod event, such as the much rumored iPod Touch 3G, the 5th generation iPod Nano (both with camera), and the new social iTunes 9 with social media integration – all yet to be confirmed of course.
We will keep you all posted on the day when Apple holds their annual iPod event, so bookmark us and put the 9th September into your diaries.