Image seller branches out to cell phones

iStockphoto has begun a pilot project to sell photos from its 1.5 million-image library to be used as mobile phone wallpaper.

iStockphoto, an online subsidiary of stock-art seller Getty Images, is taking its business to consumers. The company typically sells images from its 1.5-million item library to newspapers, ad agencies and others with a large appetite for photos and illustrations, but on Wednesday it announced a partnership with Amuse Entertainment Group to let ordinary folks download images to use as mobile phone wallpaper.

The companies began a pilot phase of the project in the United Kingdom. Subscribers using the Orange, O2, T-Mobile, 3, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone networks will be able to download images beginning in April.

The pilot could be expanded to the United States and Canada. A second phase will make the image library available worldwide.

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