Thumbplay News


Sales of ringtones and games through phone makers and the Web are way up, another sign service providers are losing their grip on the industry.

by Olga Kharif

... the emergence of vendors such as Thumbplay is just the latest indication that wireless carriers are losing their grip on the industry. The field has gotten crowded in the past year with upstarts like Apple (AAPL), which gets a big slice of the monthly revenue charged by companies that carry its iPhone, and Google (GOOG), which came out with a system that makes it easier for indie developers to create and profit from tools, games, and other wireless applications. The Federal Communications Commission has done its part to foster competition by requiring winners of the most recent auction of wireless airwaves to open their networks to rivals' handsets and applications.

Thumbplay and other content providers are capitalizing on the proliferation of mobile browsers and handsets equipped with Wi-Fi connections. Carriers can no longer act as the sole gatekeepers that determine what services a customer can download onto a phone.

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