Nokia Free Unlimited Mobile Music Downloads

Nokia announced today a package called "Comes with Music" that allows new handset buyers to download for free an unlimited number of music tracks. Nokia's latest move comes as a competitor to Apple's iPhone popularity and its over-the-air music store, the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.

"Comes with Music" (CwM) will be bundled with pre-paid editions of Nokia's 5310 phone and allows users to download onto their computers (and sync to their phones) as many tracks as they want from Nokia's music store of 2.1 million songs music store (about a quarter of Apple's iTunes Music Store's offering) for 12 months from the phone's purchase. After a year, customers must buy a new phone in order to continue downloading more songs and keep all the songs downloaded so far. It's as simple as that, or -- as Nokia's U.K. managing director, Simon Ainslie, called CwM -- "your music with no catches."

Nokia's CwM package will launch next month in the U.K, exclusively with the Carphone Warehouse (CPW) retailer, which is also the country's only independent supplier of Apple's iPhone. It will be interesting to follow how CPW will market "Comes with Music" alongside the iPhone (but we will keep you posted on that). Nokia plans to introduce "Comes with Music" next year in other countries such as France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, and Singapore -- but no U.S. launch is yet in sight. Why not, Nokia?

Nokia did not disclose any pricing details yet, but here's a price breakdown to give you an idea of how much the service will actually cost customers. (All prices are based on a rounded exchange rate of USD $2 to GBP 1) Nokia's basic music-enabled 5310 cost about USD $160 on pre-paid deals and surveys suggest that users are willing to pay between USD $200 and USD $600 for a "Comes with Music" enabled phone. In comparison, in the U.K., Apple's iPhone will be available on pre-paid deals for USD $700 and USD $800 from September 16.

Comparing Nokia's 5310 handset with Apple's iPhone, the iPhone wins hands down, technically speaking. The 5310 has a candy bar form factor and still relies on 2G speeds and it can't really compete with iPhone's 3G speeds, GPS, Wi-Fi and touchscreen. Nevertheless, Nokia's device could come as a cheap alternative (just in time for Christmas) for parents who want to put their children's music downloads into legality for a reasonably low(er) price, as the iPhone, though sleek and smart, is more expensive and requires a separate music subscription service.

Nokia has been the world's largest handset manufacturer since the late '90s and sold 146 million music phones only last year. If Nokia bundled "Comes with Music" with all the music phones sold in 2007, just an extra USD $20 per phone could make Nokia's service bigger than the total of the digital music market. And with CD sales falling every year, no wonder that Universal, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group, the world's three largest labels, jumped on Nokia's "Comes with Music" boat.

Now, Nokia, just launch "Comes with Music" worldwide, stock up on the songs in your music store (and catch up with iTunes Music Store) and bundle CwM with your high-end devices as well. Maybe this way your claim of a "revolution" would be justified (plus you can make some big bucks).

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