Hoping to the satisfy the needs of customers, brands such as Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung introduced specialised music phones a few years ago. While the Walkman-series was more popular, Nokia’s Xpress Music also did a good job. Nokia and Samsung later decided to do away with the music branding, but Sony Ericsson tried to regain its market share by using the name for a few Xperia smartphones.
Companies are adopting a new approach now. Instead of feature phones, they are now trying to look at software that can elevate the overall music experience. The perfect examples comes from players like Nokia and HTC. Nokia’s N8 had Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound when it was launched in 2010. Now, the company is looking at having Dolby Digital Plus along with Dolby Headphones in the upcoming Nokia 808 Pureview. Where Dolby Digital Plus enables cinematic Dolby surround sound, the Dolby Headphone is a technology that provides a personal 5.1 surround experience over any headphones you plug into the phone.
Viral Oza, Director Marketing, Nokia India, explains, “Today consumers want everything, so it doesn’t make sense to name a particular phone as Xpress Music. Instead, we are adding Dolby software to some of our existing phones.”
Apart from Nokia 808Pureview, the Nokia 700, 701 and 603 will have the Dolby Headphone with the Symbian Belle firmware upgrade expected in India in a couple of months. We wondered why only a handful of phones had this feature, so Razmi Haidamus, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marekting, Dolby, clarified, “This isn’t a one-day process. The handset model first goes to the Dolby office and it takes close to a year to customise and upload it on a particular handset. And hence It cannot be just added to any piece of hardware.”
It is not just Dolby. Even Beats Audio is getting big in the smartphone domain. The new handsets announced by HTC come with this technology onboard. Sony Mobile has put in Clear Audio and xloud audio technology by Sony in its Xperia S.