Chicago Tribune has a basic article on the Ringtones market in the US. We all know it’s going to be a huge revenue engine for carriers, content aggregators and the music industry. A few paragraphs about the early development of ringtones :
: About 10 years ago, Finnish phone maker Nokia began featuring the classical work “Gran Vals” by Francisco Tarrega on its wireless phones, which became known as its standard ringtone, according to the company.
: In 1997, Nokia began introducing other ringtones, Nokia spokeswoman Kimberly Schram said.
: In 2002, Nokia introduced its first 4-polyphonic mobile phone, which played four notes at once. That same year, a 24-polyphonic product was introduced in a larger device. Later models feature a slightly reduced number of 16, the company said.
: Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. started in 1983 with personalization and unique alerts on phones, including a vibrating mode. But it wasn’t until 2000 when it offered monophonic, one-note ringtones and the ability to download more.
: By 2002, Motorola matched Nokia. Last year, Motorola offered its “triplets,” phones that provided MP3 music clips. Today, full songs are available.