Is Nokia’s ‘Comes with Music’ service the new iTunes?

September 2, 2008

nokia-comes-with-music Nokia has announced a music subscription service in the UK with unlimited access to music in their catalog for 1 year along with certain mobile phone plans. Nokia is hoping to challenge Apple’s lead in the mobile music space by offering this unlimited music plan on a low end phone.

The ‘Comes with Music’ service is being tested in the UK on a prepaid plan from Carphone Warehouse. Consumers will pay £70-£80 for the basic 5310 music handset and the music service will be included with the usage plan. Nokia is looking to undercut the iPhone, which retails at as much as 5 times the price with a prepaid plan in the UK.

Nokia will also launch the Nokia Music Store for users to manage their downloads. The Music Store will allow unlimited song downloads for the full year of the music subscription. Any music that users download will also continue to be accessible even after the subscription has lapsed.

At launch, the service will include music from three of the four top record labels. Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music have already signed, which only leaves EMI to join. This move will provide consumers with access to many of the top artists from the beginning of the offering.

The Nokia ‘Comes with Music’ service is aimed squarely at users who are enticed by the iPhone’s phone and music capabilities. The Nokia Music Store hopes to challenge Apple’s iTunes, which is currently the leader in online music download sales.

As the largest global handset maker, Nokia is continuing to create product offerings that challenge market innovators. Earlier this year, the company also announced its plans to acquire Symbian, the largest open handset operating system in the world. This move helped to bolster Nokia and Symbian’s position in the face of efforts like the Google-backed Android mobile OS.

Nokia’s new 5310 handset sporting the ‘Comes with Music’ package is available for preorder today. There’s no word on when it will actually hit shelves, but the manufacturer is strongly hinting that it should be well in time for the Christmas shopping season.

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