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9/2/2008
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Nokia Launches 'Comes With Music' In U.K.

The program offers users of some Nokia phones with a year's worth of free music from major music labels.

Nokia finally launched its "Comes With Music" package Tuesday, providing users of some phones with a year's worth of music tracks. The program initially is limited to Carphone Warehouse customers in the United Kingdom, although the music service is expected to eventually be rolled out globally.

Comes with Music will be offered over a pre-pay channel on the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic edition. Although the Nokia offering has only about one-quarter of the music offered by Apple's iPhone, the Nokia product has no direct charge attached to it and is expected to substantially add to its music selections over time, so it is viewed by many as shaping up to be a competitor to the Apple music offering.

"You get a fantastic Nokia device with unlimited access for a year to a huge catalog of music," said Nokia's Tero Ojanpera in a statement. Ojanpera is executive VP and head of the Nokia entertainment and communities business.

Nokia said Carphone Warehouse is accepting pre-orders beginning Tuesday; the phone is expected to ship to customers next month. "We expect the Nokia 5310 Comes With Music to be the gift for Christmas and at the top of all shopping lists," said Andrew Harrison, the CEO of Carphone Warehouse. The United Kingdom retail chain is also one of Europe's few suppliers of Apple's iPhone.

Nokia first unveiled the 5310 Xpress Music phone in August 2007 and promised to deliver various music options for the phone. The Carphone Warehouse offering is the first actual delivery of music under the Comes With Music program to consumers. Nokia sold more than 145 million music-capable phones last year, according to media reports.

Nokia has executed something of a marketing coup by convincing Universal, Sony BMG, and Warner Music Group -- the world's three largest music labels -- to offer their music on the Comes With Music program.

"We believe that Comes With Music will transform the way people enjoy music," said Ojanpera.

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