updated 04:20 pm EST, Tue February 12, 2008
'Unlimited music' phones
LG will be the first cellphone maker to offer a phone pre-authorized for unlimited music, partner Omnifone has announced. Under the latter's MusicStation Max program, phones such as LG's will allow owners to begin downloading, playing and even sharing music immediately after subscribing, at no extra cost per track. The key is that buyers will have to pay for a special MusicStation-oriented cellular plan, which will initially run 12 to 18 months. Only at the end of this timeframe will people be able to migrate to another phone, which will also have to be a MusicStation device if they intend to keep using the service. Tracks will not be deleted if a person keeps to their original phone.
Supporting MusicStation will be special PC sync software, and online backup of personal information, including playlists, friends and any recommendations. LG's first phone with the technology should be available in the first half of 2008, and will require a 3G/HSDPA network to work, making AT&T the most likely candidate for a first adopter. No formal carrier deals have been revealed.