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We're bound to hear a lot of crazy rumors and speculation between now and Apple's press conference next week.
The latest but maybe not-so-crazy-buzz is that Apple has "obtained the rights to offer ready-made ringtones for the iPhone," according to what music industry sources tell CNET News.
Apple is expected to announce the availability of pre-cut ringtones made from popular music tracks at next week’s media event on September 9.
Although some critics on more than a few message boards I frequent were quick to deride the alleged "pre-cut ringtone" plan as lame for an Apple event, CNET had the ultimate comeback for such a criticism:
Apple can’t be expected to put a ding in the universe with every single press conference; maybe what we’ll get next week will only amount to “Hey, Look – Ringtones!”
As indicated in the CNET report, SNL Kagan, a research firm, indicates that ringtone sales dropped from $714 million in '07 to $541 million in '08.
No matter which way you slice it, September 9th is shaping up to be a music and multimedia-driven event for Apple. And although the company has big expectations to live up to, they've never really had problems doing so before. I doubt they will now.