With mobile phone screens becoming bigger and our acceptance of doing more than just making mobile calls, companies are coming out of the woodwork to offer us the latest must-have application.
Carphone Warehouse, the mobile phone retailer in the UK, has decided that this future is watching movies. So with that in mind it has joined forces with Sony Pictures to do just that - allow you to watch movies on your mobile phone.
The amazement therefore of holding in our hands - actually it’s balanced on our little finger - Spiderman 2 on a small memory card is a wonder to behold.
The tiny 128Mb card, which at one point we thought we’d lost - it’s that small, contains the full movie in glorious DVD quality Technicolor. To play it involves simply inserting it into a small memory card into a compatible phone and selecting the icon - in this case Spiderman 2.
We tested the movie on a Nokia 7610 and the Nokia 6630 and in both instances we were bowled over by the quality. The footage scaled happily between the two screen sizes (we wish we had the 7710 to see it in widescreen) and the sound through the headphones was just as good - we played it through the 7610 speakers but it didn't do the sound justice.
As it’s early days the marketing men have yet to get their grubby mitts on it and thankfully this means it goes straight into the movie without 30 minutes of trailers to endure. Once in film you can fast forward, rewind or pause the action and the application doesn’t incapacitate the working functions of the phone if someone calls.
Currently there are only two movies available in this format - Spiderman 2 and for some random reason Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Here’s the catch, both films cost a whopping £24.99 making this one for the true early adopters only. At £24.99 it’s just the wrong side of an impulse buy, and the right side of “Oooooh that’s expensive, I might as well buy the DVD and watch it at home in comfort”.
Our belief is that the secret to this offering isn’t in getting people to buy the small memory cards to keep - after all how many times are you going to want to watch Spiderman 2 on a mobile phone - but for Carphone Warehouse to offer them as part of a rental service.
The memory cards are small enough to send through the post, most likely cheap enough to produce and can be wiped and re-branded once a movie goes out of favour (the only reason we know this is Spiderman 2 is the sticker on the front). Throw this into a subscription service similar to online rental services and you’ve got a killer service for hundreds of mobile phone owning movie fans.
Boring commute? Not when you’ve got all those movies to catch up on.