Called super-distribution, the technology lets users download digital content to their cell phones and forward it to friends. Have a hip-hop MP3 you like? Send it to your pals, who get to hear it once for free. For a few bucks, they can keep it and share it again. Fans become evangelists, and labels get another bite at the $30 billion digital-music pie. "A friend's recommendation far outweighs an ad," says EMI senior VP Ted Cohen.
It's simply a bottom-line thing for the carriers, but it wouldn't surprise me if that just forced Apple to create an iTunes application for Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian operating systems, the systems found in the current stock of smartphones (most of which offer some sort of expandable memory slot).