Free Movies on Your Phone

The new Samsung Delve has a touch screen, 2 MP camera, Web browsing, and the other sorts of features that you’d expect on a mobile phone these days. And it accepts microSD memory cards. But if you buy one from Alltel Wireless before April 16, you can also get a free 2 GB microSD card. That’s not too exciting, I realize, except for the fact that the card is not empty when you get it. Paramount Pictures will put the movie Mission: Impossible on the card so you can watch it on the phone. And they’ll also put on Mission: Impossible 2, as well as Mission: Impossible 3. Yup, the whole trilogy on a memory card so you can watch them on the small screen any time you want. You can find out more about the deal at http://www.samsungmobileusa.com/missionexcitement/.

Okay, is this deal going to sell cellphones? I don’t really know. But it’s a fascinating bellwether for the whole question of delivering video content on mobile phones. Is a three-inch screen going to be big enough for American viewers who are more accustomed to wide open spaces than their European or Japanese counterparts? Will some of the new ventures that aim to deliver television programming to cell phones be successful, and what will it take to get consumers to sign up? There have been studies that indicate a pent up demand for video on the tiny screen, as it gives the viewer the ultimate in wherever, whenever, whatever control of their viewing. You don’t argue over who has the remote control when only one person can see the screen at a time.

So it will be interesting to watch and see whether other movie deals get bundled with cell phones. This could be the start of a whole new trend.