Sizes grew smaller, models became fancier, new functions like cameras, games, and Internet-access were added on a daily basis. But even all these could not satisfy today? restless consumers. With those who want the ultimate one-of-a-kind cellular phone, "phone tuning" is rapidly becoming the newest trend in town.
Phone tuning refers to the process of remodeling and converting the mainframe of the cellular phone in order to suit each individual"s taste. Phone tuning methods vary, from simple things like gluing on cubics or repainting the mainframes to methods that require advanced techniques, such as adding on bus card chips or external speakers. This trend started when a few people found a way to display pictures of their favorite celebrity onto their LCD monitor. This idea quickly became widespread through the Internet, and soon, countless new ways of remodeling a cellular phone were invented.
Since the beginning of the first phone tuning club on the portal website Daum, called "Making My Own Phone" (cafe.daum.net/onlyonephone), tuning fans, who numbered a little more than a 100 in the beginning, increased exponentially to the astonishing number of 160 thousand. Dozens of tuning shops are being opened in all the main drags of Gangnam, Myeong-dong, and Daehangno. Cellular phone manufacturers are providing spare cases with the cellular phones so that consumers can redecorate them any way they like. The tuning company ElectroNet.Co. (www.jjangphone.com) even received a patent license for its own tuning method called "FCK" (Full Color Keypad).
"More people are seeking diversity and identity. Consumers are not satisfied with monotonous, mass-produced goods anymore. Phone tuning is special because it regards everyone"s own individuality," answered a 20-year-old part-time worker in a tuning shop, when asked about the reason for such fanaticism over phone tuning. Can it be interpreted as a way of fighting against the inhumanity of the materialized world? Perhaps that is too big a leap of logic. But it is for sure that this new trend is not going to fade away anytime soon.
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