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I admit it – somtimes I’m a complete Luddite

Dwight asks a good question:

Why do cellular-phone ringtones — which last about 15 seconds at most — cost $2.50, while the full songs from which they are derived are only 99 cents?

Confession time: Not only does my cellphone play the same default ringtone it played when I first got it two or three years ago, I don’t even know how I’d go about updating it. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never cared, and now that I know it’d cost me money to get a new ringtone, I’m even less likely to care in the future. Yes, I can be a real Luddite sometimes.

I will say this: if I ever do decide to change ringtones, I’m going to ask Lair for a copy of his.

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  1. kodi says:

    Why do cellular-phone ringtones — which last about 15 seconds at most — cost $2.50, while the full songs from which they are derived are only 99 cents?

    That’s an easy one – it’s to help subsidize the $300 phone you got for $0.01 when you signed up for a new service contract.

  2. hope says:

    IMO, ringtones should be as simple and unobtrusive as possible. As much as I like the song Toxic, I don’t want to hear the first few notes every time I get a call.

  3. Charles M says:

    Actually, I’ve got you beat on this one. I can’t download a ringtone.

    After I got charged $7.10 for an email with a gif, I had them totally disable all internet access from my phone. It’s a freeping phone, already.

  4. Kent says:

    I’m with you Charlie. Personally I can’t stand these cell phone ring tones. A phone should sound like a phone.

    I ask 3 things of my cell phone.

    1. That it contain a decent address book for storing numbers.

    2. That it get good reception as I live in a fairly fringe area.

    3. That it get good battery life.

    Oh, and I also like it to fit in a pocket as I can’t stand wearing a phone on my belt and most of the year I’m wearing shorts with cargo pockets anyway. One advantage of working as a consultant out of your home office! So I prefer flip phones to candy bar phones since a flip phone rides in the pocket better.

    What else would I want in a cell phone if I could get it?

    1. The ability to get cheap international service. My wife and I travel to Chile every year. Of course our Verizon phones don’t work in Chile anyway as they are CDMA and Chile is GSM. But even if I had a Cingular or T-Mobile phone there would be no point in bringing it along as they charge something outrageous like $2/min. I can go to the Chilean equivalent of Wal-Mart and buy a disposable phone for our trip just like here in the US, but that’s not exactly the same because no one will know the number. Seems like one ought to be able to buy reasonably priced short-term international service for those one-time or infrequent trips abroad. I mean Chileans don’t pay $2/min for their cell phone service. They pay the same $30-50 month that most Americans pay.

    2. Integrated GPS. I know there are smart phones out there on which you can run PDA-based mapping software. But you still need to attach a separate GPS antenna to make it work. I want an all-in-one GPS phone.

  5. Anne says:

    Thank you for this post.

    I can’t imagine spending money on a telephone ring.

  6. RobG says:

    Maybe you want a rangback instead? It’s the opposite of a ringtone it’s what the caller hears when they call you.

  7. cwr says:

    You can download free ringtones if you want something different. One site is (If you access it from your cellphone, you don’t have to register.) You can Google for other “free ringtone” sites or even program in your own (they say).

    Sometimes a different ringtone is quite handy. When my phone starts playing the “Mission Impossible” theme, I know that My Prince is calling and I will soon have another little mission to perform. 😉