Comes With Music Live In Singapore; End Of DRM Hinted

It looked like Australia was going to be the next country to get Comes with Music, but Singapore has beaten it to the punch. The service is live there now, with Comes with Music edtions of the Nokia (NYSE: NOK) N96, N85, N79, 5320 XpressMusic and 5220 XpressMusic. It has about 4 million tracks, from the big four labels as well as Asian independent labels such as Ocean Butterflies and Rock Records.There’s evidence that removing the DRM scheme might also be on the board: Channel News Asia quotes Adam Mirabilla, Director of global digital music retail at Nokia, as saying “we have a dialogue going with all of our product partners and copyright free is on the roadmap for future iterations of comes with music”. (release)

On the same day Nokia has announced the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be sold in the US — no mention of a carrier deal, just that it’s available through Nokia Flagship stores, from its online site nokiausa.com and independent retailers. Without carrier distribution I don’t think it will make a huge splash, even with the $50 voucher for Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Video on Demand. However, should you choose to go out and buy it in the United States it will set you back $399, before taxes and subsidies. In Singapore, where the handset comes with Comes with Music, it goes fro S$798 before taxes and subsidies, or US$513. You can’t directly compare countries (exchange rates fluctuate, for example, and Nokia has about 50 percent of the Singapore handset market compared to less than 10 percent in the US) but it gives a rough idea of the cost of Comes with Music. (release)