updated 07:30 am EST, Tue December 4, 2007
Nokia CWM, 3110 Evolve
Nokia today kicked off its own Nokia World event with a controversial plan to offer free music to its phone owners. Known as Comes With Music, the service is based on Universal's proposed Total Music concept: buying a supporting device grants a year's worth of unlimited access to music from the Universal catalog subsidized by part of the phone's cost. Unlike pure subscription models, however, users can keep any of the music they have downloaded, Nokia says. The cellphone maker does not say when Comes With Music will be available but notes that talks are still under way to convince other labels to come onboard.
The effort represents the second clear effort in Universal's attempt to escape from conventional business models for its music, following the label's pressure on Microsoft last year to pay a royalty to Universal for every Zune player sold. Universal in recent months has been especially keen to escape dependence on Apple and has been willing to experiment with both subsidized music and DRM-free purchases through Amazon, Wal-Mart, and similar stores.
The company also released a handful of devices to stress its environmental and music efforts. The 3110 Evolve is one of the Finland-based firm's most eco-friendly handsets to date and is made of more than 50 percent renewable, organic material. It also comes in a box made of 60 percent recyclable products and consumes 94 percent less power than the Energy Star guidelines would demand, coming with a smart charger that cuts off power once the phone battery is full. The 3110 is nonetheless a full-featured phone with a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot for storing AAC, MP3, or WMA tracks and H.264/MPEG-4 video. Pricing has not been listed, though the tri-band phone with EDGE Internet access is focused on Europe and is not immediately expected to reach North America.
Two wired stereo headsets also accompany the Evolve. The WH-600 is a simple over-the-ear headset with padded cups and an in-line microphone that also manages calls and volume; in turn, the WH-700 provides the same features with in-ear buds. Both have standard 3.5mm headphone jacks that work with nearly any device and should be ready by January at prices of 65 Euros ($95) and 50 Euros ($73) respectively.