updated 08:55 am EDT, Thu April 8, 2010
Nokia's unlimited music now without protection
Nokia tried to rekindle interest in Comes With Music today by launching it in China without copy protection. The service still lets customers buy a phone with a year of unlimited downloads attached but now won't use Windows Media DRM to guard those tracks, letting them freely copy the songs even after the subscription ends. Whether these would still use Microsoft's format or rely on a more ubiquitous format like MP3 wasn't said.
Most of the phones that will carry CWM are smartphone-class but will start relatively low, at the equivalent of 140 euros (1,272 yuan, or $186) before taxes or any carrier discounts. These will include very recent phones like the X6, E52, E72i and most of the Nokia 5000-series touchscreen phones.
The launch is a crucial one for Nokia as CWM has largely failed to get significant traction in its current launch countries. In the fall, it counted less than 110,000 users; while it has grown since, the bundled music plan has remained small even with several countries onboard.
CWM was originally envisioned by Universal as a way of curbing piracy by making music an inevitable part of a phone purchase, but most customers still choose the less expensive phone first. Most customers have still opted for the per-track model, whether through Nokia's own Ovi Store or through third-party stores like iTunes.