For years, Microsoft and others have attempted without much success to shake Apple’s tight grip on the digital music scene. From subscription services to the Zune, companies have searched for the winning alternative to the iTunes, iPod bundle. Analysts now believe Finland’s Nokia may have a good shot of chipping away at Apple’s dominance.
More than 80 percent of people would pay for Nokia’s ‘Comes with Music’ service – particularly when it feels like they are getting tunes for free. Nokia says it will launch the handsets Oct. 17 in Britain.
Strategy Analytics said cost and selection trump brand – even ones so tightly woven as Apple, iPod and iTunes.
“Nokia Comes With Music effectively bundles a year’s subscription of music downloads (PC and mobile) into the price of a handset,” analyst Pitesh Patel told Cult of Mac.
Patel said Nokia – the largest handset maker – could overwhelm Apple’s iPhone.
“Nokia’s strong distribution and handset marketshare means that it currently sells more music playing devices than Apple,” the Strategy Analytics wireless analyst said.
However, we are not likely to see a head-to-head battle between the two companies in the United States. Nokia instead will challenge the iPhone in Europe and Asia – areas where Apple’s name awareness gives way to the handset maker.
The key point in this dust-up is that digital music fans care little about the name on their music player.
“It turns out that brand is irrelevant,” said Patel.