updated 02:10 pm EDT, Thu October 2, 2008
Nokia CWM Phone Launch
As a companion to news of the 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone, Nokia today also kicked off the formal launch details of its Comes With Music service. The company now plans to ship the inaugural, modified 5310 XpressMusic on October 16th and will sell it exclusively through Carphone Warehouse for 130 pounds ($230). As promised, the handset will come with one year of unlimited access to music and will let owners keep any downloaded tracks if they choose not to renew the subscription. Pricing for a renewal still isn't available.
Comes With Music will also be available on other devices with an emphasis on music phones. Both the 5800 XpressMusic and the older N95 8GB will also come in specialized versions at a later date, though neither has a public release date or price.
The phone maker adds that it has now landed all four major music labels with the addition of EMI and will also carry music from a number of independents, such as Beggars Group and The Orchard. Other countries beyond the UK are planned as part of the strategy and will include the US sometime in 2009.
Comes With Music has been primarily backed by Universal Music Group and is considered an attempt by the recording firm to establish a more reliable music business model as well as an alternative to dependency on conventional pay-per-song online music stores such as iTunes, which company chief Doug Morris likens to "golden handcuffs" that promise success but trap the company into a particular pricing scheme.