Nokia: Now or Never

Nokia today announced the launch of its free music streaming service, Nokia Music, in the USA. Nokia’s new Music app offers U.S. Lumia owners their own free streaming service. At the Nokia World event in New York, tomorrow, Nokia is expected to unveil new handsets on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system .

Available as of today, Nokia Music kicks off with more than 150 different playlists chosen by a team of music experts. The playlists run the gamut from Detroit underground music to performances from the New York Philharmonic, according to Nokia.

Users can also scour a collection of millions of songs to generate their own playlists based on their favorite music and artists, says C/Net. And though the service is designed for streaming, Lumia owners can listen to music offline via their special playlists. It’s aimed at Nokia device owners, with downloads available today for Nokia Lumia 900 or Nokia Lumia 710 owners. The Nokia Music app will be ad- and subscription-free.

Nokia discontined its free, bundled music service, Comes With Music, in most of its markets last year, after low subscriber takeup. Comes With Music was Nokia’s attempt to compete against Apple’s iTunes music service. Within the phone box was a card with an ID that linked to the PC (MAC address) and mobile phone (IMEI), so that PC and mobile phone could have unlimited music downloads for over a year.

In May 2011, Nokia announced that their Ovi brand for Games, Maps, Media, Messaging and Music would be discontinued and the services rebranded under the main Nokia brand. The transition began in July 2011 and Nokia said it intends to complete the rebranding of the Ovi services by the end of 2012.

At Nokia’s big launch event in New York, tomorrow, the new Lumia line including the Nokia 820 and Nokia 920 are expected to be unveilled. The new Lumias will be Nokia’s first devices running Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s updated operating system.

It’s a high stakes game for Microsoft and Nokia, explains Reuters. It’s their best — and possibly last — shot at denting a smart phone market dominated by Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android.

If the new Lumia phones do not appeal to consumers when they are unveiled tomorrow, it could mean the end for Nokia, and a serious blow to Microsoft’s attempts to regain its footing in the mobile market, analysts and investors say.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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