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India’s diversified digital media group Spice is using Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to unveil three pieces of hardware, including this “Movie Phone” – a film-centric handset that plays titles not from download but by from a tiny “Vmedia” disc inserted at the side. The phone has a 2.8-inch TFT screen with 262,000 colors, 3.5-hour battery life and a TV-out connection. It will be launched in to India and south-east Asia in June. Spice claims 40 Indian movies are licensed from studios like Eros, Shemaroo and T-series and says more are to come.
While other operators consider downloads or desktop transfers to handsets like iPhone the most likely manifestation of mobile movie consumption, could it be they’re ignoring an important lingering market in the shape of physical-format discs? Not necessarily – phones already come equipped with memory card slots and such cards’ capacities are quickly increasing. The Vmedia discs, however, are supposedly compatible with some memory card slots.