updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
RIM music service coming
BlackBerry handset maker Research in Motion (RIM) will reportedly launch an online music download service for BlackBerries in order to compete with competitors Apple and Nokia. The application will be a result of a partnership with a UK-based music website, 7Digital and, according to 7Digital's marketing manager Peter Davis, will be free to download. In a unique approach, the quality will change depending on the network: BlackBerry users on a 3G network will download lower bitrate AAC tracks to save time, but can immediately move to 320Kbps MP3 downloads when on Wi-Fi. A sync feature will also connect the phone to a computer over Wi-Fi to transfer without requiring a USB link.
Like its rivals, RIM will skip subscription services in favor of 99 cents per track or $9.99 per typical album whether accessed from a BlackBerry or a home computer. 7Digital has a library of some six million tracks, with the majority DRM-free. It will also be more in-depth than Apple's iTunes or Nokia's Comes With Music as it will offer editorials that include recommendations on which music to download as well as feature articles and reviews.
The service will launch concurrently in September in the UK, US, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
RIM's effort follows a similar attempt to shadow the Apple business model by launching BlackBerry App World in April. While larger than the Palm App Catalog, the central portal for third-party software has struggled to expand as it took three months to reach the 2,000 app mark where the iPhone's App Store has expanded at an average rate of 4,167 new apps per month in its first year. [via TGDaily]