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Nokia plans mobile music service in the UK

02 сентября 2008

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, is planning to launch its new mobile music service in the UK next month, and will extend it to continental Europe and Asia next year.

Nokia has underlined its aim of turning the mobile music service into a mass market product by making it available on basic as well as sophisticated handsets.

The UK launch is intended to capitalise on the Christmas market. Nokia declined to give pricing details, but said customers on pay-as-you-go mobile deals had in surveys said they were willing to pay between £100 ($179) and £300 for the handset and the music service.

Nokia, under Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, chief executive, is embarking on its most significant diversification since becoming the leading handset maker in the late 1990s by supplying services on mobiles.

Its music service, called Comes With Music, will plunge Nokia into a battle with Apple, the US technology company.

Apple dominates legal sales of digital music with its iTunes online store, which uses a pay-per-track business model.

People who buy Nokia mobiles that include the Comes With Music service will be able to download and keep as many tracks as they wish from participating music companies over a one-year period.

Apple, which released its iPhone handset last year, is also considering an “all you can eat” music service similar to Nokia’s.

Nokia hopes to have all four leading record labels involved. Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music have already signed up to the Comes With Music service, and Nokia is confident of having EMI on board by the time of the UK launch.

Carphone Warehouse, the UK’s largest independent mobile phone retailer, will sell a handset with the Comes With Music service in the pay-as-you-go market.

The mobile, called the 5310, is a basic music-enabled handset, which Carphone sells for £70-£80 to customers on pay-as-you-go deals. The Comes With Music service will increase the price.

The 5310 uses 2G mobile technology, which means it offers an inferior web surfing experience to 3G handsets.

Carphone said it would start selling Apple’s 3G iPhone on pay-as-you-go deals from later this month.

Nokia is considering rolling out the Comes With Music service next year in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, plus Australia and Singapore, and possibly some developing countries.

Источник: Financial Times

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