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Playboy goes for hard cell

WWW – Call Girl” is getting a whole new meaning.

Playboy has found a new way to peddle its nudie pictures to gawkers on the go: over their cell phones.

“Color screens on the new generation of handhelds are perfect for beautiful pictures,” said editor John Thomas.

Last month Playboy also joined the growing legion of porn purveyors marketing to handheld devices when it launched “iBod,” nude photos sized for the iPod Photo.

The company won’t say when the cellular centerfolds will be available or how customers will be charged, only that they’re on the case.

Although the pioneering skin magazine is the biggest name to announce plans to put porn on phones, the House that Hefner Built isn’t the first.

The free wireless site already gets more than 75 million hits a week from cell-phone users, more than MSN on at least one major U.S. wireless carrier, according to technology research firm Yankee Group Inc.

“Wireless adult content is already a hit in other countries,” said Yankee Group analyst Adam Zawel. “It will eventually take off here, it’s just a matter of time.”

Zawel estimates 10 million Americans will access pornography with a cell phone by 2008, up from the current tens of thousands.

So far, major U.S. cellular carriers have tried to steer clear of cell smut.

Cingular, the nation’s largest carrier, already has said it will not provide Playboy’s new service.

Some customers can’t wait to punch up blue pictures on the cell phone.

“It’s much more personal,” said Nick Serrano, 30, a messenger from Tremont, the Bronx. “You don’t have to be glued to the computer.”

But some people see problems ahead.

“It’s difficult to monitor the computer, but you can’t possibly follow the phone with your child all day,” said Lynette Sui, 47, a mother of four from Richmond Hill, Queens.

Robert Peters, president of Manhattan-based Morality in Media, agreed.

But he said he hoped a certain practical consideration also would work against phone porn.

“These models are already petite in real life,” he said. “You really need to look at them on a 2-inch screen? It boggles my mind.”



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