Sprint has announced plans to lower the price of over-the-air (OTA) music downloads from $2.49 to $0.99, inline with Apple's established pricepoint on the desktop.
US mobile carriers and record labels have been reluctant to do this for fear of cannibalizing the multi-billion dollar ringtone cashcow. But as full-length songs becomes more common on handsets, I don't see how the industry can continue to sell 8 second clips of songs for $2.49.
While this may hurt Sprint's ringtone sales in the short term, it is a smart move. Mobile music in the United States is far behind many foreign markets, particuarly in Europe and Japan. Inevitably, Apple will offer iTunes downloads via the iPhone at some point - it looks like Sprint has the foresight to capture some of this emerging market early on.