updated 04:45 pm EDT, Tue September 30, 2008
Sprint Axes PC Music Sales
Sprint today quietly revealed plans to pull the PC component of its Music Store service. Members visiting the store's portal are now being told that they can no longer download protected Windows Media copies of songs to their computers after October 14th and that the music will only be available for cellphones after this point. Users can backup content from the phones to a computer but won't have the rights to play it, the company explains.
Reasons haven't been given for the sudden reduction in features, although Sprint's service has been one of the least expensive to include over-the-air downloads at 99 cents per track, in many cases costing half or less the rates charged by Verizon and others for similar privileges.
The cancellation cedes one of the advantages of the Samsung Instinct and other media-heavy devices versus the iPhone, which supports both computer and handset downloads and so far has only been limited in its need to download songs over Wi-Fi from the phone itself. Apple in the past has opted out in part due to concerns over raising per-track prices.