Report: Apple to Offer Pre-Cut Ringtones

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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, according to a report Wednesday at CNET News.

Despite being able to easily make their own ringtones out of any mp3 file for free, consumers have in the past shown a willingness to pay as much as $3 to hear a few seconds of a favorite song when receiving an incoming phone call.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment for the report and no details are available about what the company might charge for ringtones, but the formerly booming, high-margin source of music industry revenues saw a 24% decline from 2007 – 2008, according to a recent report from the research firm SNL Kagan.

With many expecting little more than some tweaks to iTunes and a possible refresh of the iPod line next week, Apple appears to have done a good job of setting the stage for a blockbuster announcement of some kind.

On the other hand, 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!”