Nokia is morphing into a media business, according to The New York Times.
Next year the handset maker will team with Universal Music Group, and other labels that opt in, to offer consumers free music.
Under the agreement, Universal will let users download its entire catalog at no cost for 12 months, and keep the songs at the end of that time. Users will be able to download the songs to new Nokia phones or to their computers via mobile or fixed-line broadband connections.
Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Jupiter Research said, “What is bold and strategically important about this is that they are tacitly accepting that they will never get digital youth to pay for music.”
It’s also clear Nokia will fight Apple head-on by trying to loosen Cupertino’s hold on the digital music business, and by providing viable alternatives to the iPhone.