tatadocomologoTata DoCoMo, the GSM joint venture between CDMA telco Tata Indicom and Japanese firm NTT DoCoMo, will soon launch comics for mobile phones. The new VAS will be in the form of a downloadable application called ‘Comix On The Go‘. Tata DoCoMo has partnered with publishers ACK Media and Walt Disney Animation Studios for content.

Update: The VAS firm that developed the product Comix on the Go is the Bangalore-based Zero-Sum Wireless Solutions.

The company spokesperson told Medianama, “The various comix options would be Suppandi, Akbar Birbal, Manga, Disney, Mickey Mouse, Panchtantra, Devi amongst others.” However, the company declined to confirm the content partners. Devi was a comic book by Virgin Comics (which is now Liquid Comics).

Comix On the Go has been scheduled to launch before Diwali.

Manga comics are originally in Japanese but if the boom of anime (Japanese animations/ cartoons) in India is any indication, Manga will also find a large readership among young customers.

Handset Compatibility, Pricing

comixCurrently the application is only compatible with Nokia S60 handsets, and the company is working to extend this to more handsets.

More screenshots  here.

Tata DoCoMo declined revealing exact pricing but said they would offer the comics through a subscription model. From the company-provided screenshots, it appears that some comics (“Cars”, see screenshot below) could be as cheap as Rs. 10 per year!

Update: The official release reveals the pricing is Rs. 20 per comic for a year.


Comics Versus Games?

The application uses a comic book browser called ComicSurfing by Tokyo-based Celsys, which is a partner of NTT DoCoMo. ComicSurfing enhances the reading value of the comic with sound effects and a theme song. One can also zoom into the comic to read the voice balloons. Will it be exciting enough to lure mobile gamers?

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