Nokia pulls the plug on its 'Ovi Unlimited' iTunes competitor

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Nokia is pulling the plug on its Ovi Music Unlimited service in nearly every market it serves, citing incompatibility with iPods as a key problem.



Nokia originally launched its subscription music service as "Comes with Music," in a late 2007 partnership with Universal Music, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, using Microsoft's Windows Media DRM.



The world's largest mobile maker hoped to challenge Apple's pay per song iTunes model and take on the iPod with its dominant position in mobiles just as Apple was expanding from the iPod into the mobile business with the then new iPhone.



Nokia phones bundled with the program would receive six, 12, 18 or 24 months' worth of unlimited music downloads, and could play the music on either their mobile or PC using Microsoft's player software. Nokia has promised a Mac version of its Ovi desktop software since 2008, but never delivered it.



The service was slow to catch on, reports the Financial Times, in part because Nokia only used it to attract users to its lower end and middle-tier models, leaving it off its high end devices.



Additionally, its DRM restricted music from playing on other devices, including iPod and Macs. "The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service," a Nokia spokesman said in the report.



Nokia will be discontinuing the service in 27 of the 33 markets it currently serves, leaving just China (where it reportedly doesn't use any DRM anyway) India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa, where the service had drawn the most interest.



Those countries are among the areas Nokia has held onto as the iPhone has systematically trampled its once overwhelmingly dominant position in smartphones via its Symbian mobile platform (depicted on the map below).



However, analysts say it is likely that Apple will use its new CDMA iPhone 4, initially being launched in the US with Verizon, to enter markets in India and China, which currently provide better CDMA service than they do GSM/UMTS, a problem that has held Apple back from entering those markets previously.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    thats very poor excuse.



    Oh we not successful because we can not make a music device like iPod for our music/apps centre and Apple will not let us be compatible with their product, which we are suing them for apparent patent infringement.



    Nokia please go away, your embarrassment!
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Ouch. Hurts to be Nokia...
  • Reply 3 of 17
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    However, analysts say it is likely that Apple will use its new CDMA iPhone 4, initially being launched in the US with Verizon, to enter markets in India and China, which currently provide better CDMA service than they do GSM/UMTS, a problem that has held Apple back from entering those markets previously.



    What do you mean by ?better?. Certainly not the number of subscribers as China has about ¾ billion GSM subscribers and 150 million UMTS subscribers.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    simtubsimtub Posts: 277member
    I used to love nokia. My first phone was the 8110 (banana phone) and then the 8810 in Shiny Chrome... those were the days. I even used to frequent the nokia website to see what upcoming models there were. Now I can't remember the last time I logged onto nokia.com



    Hope they can reinvent themselves and get back in on the competition.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post


    thats very poor excuse.



    Especially since Amazon?s music store works great with iPods and iTunes. iPods don?t need special formats or support; it?s merely nice to make it easy to get stuff into iTunes (as Amazon did with their app).



    Music DRM is gone from iTunes/iPod, and good riddance!
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simtub View Post


    I used to love nokia. My first phone was the 8110 (banana phone) and then the 8810 in Shiny Chrome... those were the days. I even used to frequent the nokia website to see what upcoming models there were. Now I can't remember the last time I logged onto nokia.com



    Hope they can reinvent themselves and get back in on the competition.



    Nokia makes good hardware and mediocre software. They always have.



    I used to love Nokia phones too, back when they were the best hardware and software makers in the mobile game. Then Sony entered and made better hardware. Then Apple entered and made better software *and* hardware - and not just a bit better, astronomically better, so much better that I'm surprised Nokia sells any of their so-called-smartphones at all.



    Nokia isn't even in the game any more. Sure, if you want a tiny dumbphone with a rubbish camera, brower and email and no Mac sync support then they have some good offerings, but Blackberry, Android and iOS between them have the smartphone market entirely sown up. Meego looks promising but it's way too little too late and Nokia have demonstrated time and time again with Symbian that they can't do software, so I don't see why Meego will be any different.



    I just don't see how Nokia can come back from this - they're still paddling in the wrong direction.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    And here begins Apple's takeover of the world. Let all other smart phones cower in fear.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    I remember seeing this graphic when the story first came out about iOS and Nokia world market share.



    One thing though, how com only half of Russia is iOS? It looks like east of the Urals is Symbian country. Is the author trying to say that Siberia is now not a part of Russia? I'm only asking as no other countries seem to have been split into sections like that. Some of the Canadian and Australian states are pretty large so they could be split for the sake of consistency as well...
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Or because they just knew their store was going nowhere, much like their current products.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    What this article fails to mention is that Nokia's iTunes-style DRM free, pay per track store is still open for business.



    Still, I find it interesting that Spotify has found a market for subscription-based music where everyone else has failed. I guess a wide library and decent software for all platforms really helps matters.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Solipsism: Since when has the term "better", in the context it is in, referred to "numbers"? It is obviously qualitative
  • Reply 12 of 17
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregoriusM View Post


    Solipsism: Since when has the term "better", in the context it is in, referred to "numbers"? It is obviously qualitative



    Since when has “better” not been quantifiable as a numeric value?



    Note that I asked a question because the term “better” to refer to the service was not qualified. It is then followed up by "a problem that has held Apple back from entering those markets previously.” yet we don’t know of what problem has held Apple back in these markets that would have to do with better or less better service. Hence, my query.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Comes with Music, Leaves with a Whimper.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Or because they just knew their store was going nowhere, much like their current products.



    The future belongs to those that can find and execute on into the Next Big Thing. Trying to compete with the Last Big Thing is going to put you on the wrong side of history.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post


    I remember seeing this graphic when the story first came out about iOS and Nokia world market share.



    One thing though, how com only half of Russia is iOS? It looks like east of the Urals is Symbian country. Is the author trying to say that Siberia is now not a part of Russia? I'm only asking as no other countries seem to have been split into sections like that. Some of the Canadian and Australian states are pretty large so they could be split for the sake of consistency as well...



    Didn't you see the press release? Siberia will now be known as the Google Archipelago and people found to be using ad blockers, H.264 or iOS devices will be sent there for reeducation.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Didn't you see the press release? Siberia will now be known as the Google Archipelago and people found to be using ad blockers, H.264 or iOS devices will be sent there for reeducation.



    Guess I must have missed that one....



    Don't I look like a giant douchecopter!

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