Nokia's "free," all-you-can-eat, music subscription service is set to world premier in the UK next month before hitting continental Europe and Asia in 2009. Nokia already has Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music on board and plans to have EMI signed before launch -- in total, Nokia expects to offer some 2.1 million tracks at launch. While touted as free, the service costs will be baked into the price of Nokia's pre-pay 5310 XpressMusic Comes With Music Edition handset (currently priced between £70-£80 for the pay-as-you-go, non-CwM handset) when purchased though the UK's Carphone Warehouse. You must then purchase another CwM-compatible device at the end of the year in order to continue downloading tracks. For those not wishing to re-up with Nokia, your 5310 CwM edition phone will continue to make / receive calls and text messages and, like your computer, continue to playback all those DRM-wrapped WMA tracks -- they will not play anywhere else. While the approach is interesting, the DRM-enabled time-bomb and device lock-in makes the entire model sound fatally flawed to us -- though we're sure that'll be hacked away soon enough. Come on Amazon, now is the time to take your MP3 store global and show these fools how it's done.
Update: Expect the service to launch at, or shortly after, a Nokia Comes With Music press event scheduled for October 2nd.
Read -- FT
Read -- Guardian
Read -- Nokia press release