Operators shun Nokia's Comes With Music service

Mobile operators have greeted the arrival of Nokia's Comes With Music service with huge disinterest, with only the retailer Carphone Warehouse in the UK having signed to market the service.

The lack of uptake by operators -- none in the UK have indicated firm interest -- is likely caused by these firms having spent time and effort building their own music download services. Nokia's 'free' music service, along with its Ovi portal, are perceived as threats by network operators looking to position themselves as content providers.

Passing comment on the Nokia offering, O2's head of content, Antony Douglas, said: "We will keep an eye on it; if it is a huge success, we will renew our position. We will focus on existing services, but if Nokia does something compelling that is good for our customers, we will work with it."

Defending its position, the MD of Nokia UK, Simon Ainslie, said Nokia was not out of place with the new service and pointed to Apple and BlackBerry as manufacturers already working as service providers. "The business model has changed. Apple already has an established portal."

To add spice to this uncomfortable situation, speculation has arisen over the future possibility of Nokia handsets (those running S60) supporting iTunes. This would also, apparently, include the iStore application enabling users to download music directly to the handset. An outlandish story, but given the trouble with the Comes With Music service, almost anything is possible.

For more on this story:
- go to Mobile News and Cnet

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