Today the battle lines have been drawn as mobile phone giant Nokia launches a new music service and range of mobile handsets to compete with the Apple iPhone in the UK.
The new pre-pay phones from the Finnish mobile giant will give music fans a year’s unlimited access to 2.1 million music tracks on the Nokia Comes With Music service – about a quarter of the amount available on Apple iTunes – but with no extra charge for 12 months.
The first Nokia phone to carry the new service is the 5310 XpressMusic handset, which was designed in-house and is now being launched in four new colours to compete in the Christmas market.
A Nokia spokesperson was keen to emphasise that the handsets have not been designed to specifically compete with the iconic Apple iPhone, but have been ‘created as its own phone’.
Nokia hopes that the new handset will be a hit this Christmas with parents concerned with their children using illegal music file-sharing systems on the Internet.
The UK is the first market in the world to launch the Comes With Music service. Pre-orders for the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic handsets are now being accepted at the Carphone Warehouse by visiting www.carphonewarehouse.com.