12/03/2012 06:35 pm ET

Nokia Hired A 55-Piece Orchestra To Compose Ringtones, And Other Extravagances

The Telegraph is reporting that embattled cell phone manufacturer Nokia recently hired a 55-piece orchestra to create several original ringtones for its Lumia line. From the Telegraph:

The 25 original classical tunes were recorded with the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and some are already available on some Nokia Lumia models.


Ringtones are usually created in a studio using a synthesizer to produce a wide variety of sounds. But Mr Anderson said that Nokia wanted to create ringtones that had a "unique, organic" sound.

Commissioning a full company orchestra might seem an extravagance to "put out a couple of measly ringtones," as Gizmodo puts it. But hiring an enormous full-size Slovakian orchestra is but one of the seemingly insignificant details that Nokia spends extravagant amounts of money on, however. Just look at the other features that Nokia commissioned at great expense for its phones:

- "Customer Terms of Service" written by Thomas Pynchon, with a foreword by Don DeLillo.
- Sound effect you hear after sending an email actually a collaboration between Elton John, Nas and the reunited White Stripes.
- To bolster its media library, the sequel to "Avatar" will be bankrolled by Nokia and exclusive to the Lumia 1040.
- Three new wallpapers are original, never-before-seen works by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and the estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
- Convened colloquium of Harvard professors in Davos to determine what to call their Weather app. (They landed on "Weather").
- In order to add satellite photography to its Maps application, Nokia has agreed to fund NASA through 2025.
- New ad campaign features high-profile celebrities Jessica Alba, Andy Samberg, Warren Buffett, the Pope, Kate Middleton's forthcoming baby and Rafalca, the Dancing Horse.

Ok, so those are actually things we wish Nokia would waste its money on. In all seriousness, though, Nokia clearly is not afraid to dole out the cash in order to get something just right. Our question to you: Is spending cash on a full orchestra to record ringtones an unjustifiable expense, or do you appreciate the effort Nokia is making to ensure each detail is perfect?