updated 02:20 pm EDT, Wed April 29, 2009
Nokia on CWM Reaction
Nokia today defended the poor reception to its Comes With Music service in the UK by claiming that the launch failed primarily due to a weak device lineup. Music VP Rob Taylor argues that Nokia is "happy" with its performance in the country but has promptly said that the two phones available with the unlimited music service, the 5310 XpressMusic and N95 8GB, were too old and not enough to draw subscribers. Of the two, the N95 8GB is the most advanced but was roughly a year old at the time of the Comes With Music launch.
"We learned that the right device is just as important as what we're offering... we launched it with two devices that were slightly out of date," Taylor says. "That's not really something that helped us in the UK at the time. But we learned from that, and subsequent launches in other countries with the Nokia 5800 [XpressMusic], the hero device, are doing very, very well."
He adds that Nokia eventually plans to bring a Comes With Music edition of the 5800 to the UK and that a limitation of existing sales to Carphone Warehouse significantly hurt the service's growth. "We won't give up on Comes with Music, or the UK," he says.
The admission reflects a rough start to the service, which according to outside estimates may have signed up as few as 23,000 subscribers in the UK in the past few months. Nokia had hoped to spur the use of its phones as media devices by giving buyers a year's worth of unlimited music downloads that they could keep after the subscription ended. Comes With Music was also prompted chiefly by major labels such as Universal that wanted to offer an alternative to iTunes and to prevent Apple from gaining the same hold on mobile music as it does on computers. [via Telegraph]