updated 12:00 pm EDT, Fri June 15, 2007
"Sideloading" rather "downloading" may be the key feature of newer smartphones, such as the iPhone. While much has been made of other iPhone features, Nokia's board member Daniel Hesse says that the iPhone's "sideloading" feature -- downloading music to computer and then syncing it to a smartphone -- may be one of the keys to its success. The much-anticipated consumer device is being criticized because users can't access the iTunes store "over-the-air" and download music directly to their phones, but Nokia's Hesse says that "over-the-air" downloads may not be as desirable to consumers. Hesse told The Browser that, for transferring music and multimedia files to mobile phones, "sideloading will be absolutely crucial and that "no matter how fast the wireless networks get here, the computer is always faster."
Omniphone recently launched a new software music solution for cell phones: MusicStation, designed as an alternative to Apple's iTunes/iPod ecosystem, aims to offer an iTunes-like experience for music playback and organization and simple music purchase--without, however, an tethered PC.
Hesse, who led AT&T Wireless in 1990s (not to be confused with Cingular/A&T) that believes that a PC-centered sync solution is the key is supported by research from M:Metrics. Consumers in markets where mobile music is prevalent also seem to prefer sideloading to over-the-air downloads by a "wide margin," according to M:Metrics research quoted by the report.
The former AT&T Wireless exec says he sideloads content to his Nokia smart phone: he can download music purchases faster using his wired broadband connection, and he likes using his computer to manage his playlists, according to the report.