Nokia launches iPhone offensive

Nokia is launching touchscreen phones and a new online music store in a blatant attempt to replicate the success of the Apple iPhone.

The company will start to sell touchscreen phones using its popular S60 software next year, in a clear attempt to ape the early success of the iPhone. No further details of the handsets have been announced.

As speculation mounts about when iPhones will go on sale in Europe, Nokia unveiled four new phone models including a top-end music and gaming phone, the N81, and a new version of its top profit generator, the N95 handset. It also unveiled two mid-priced music phones: the Nokia 5310 and 5610.

Nokia says it will launch its online music store later this year. The store will offer “millions of tracks from major artists, independent labels as well as a broad range of local artists from around the world.” The store will be available from both PCs and compatible phone handsets. Tracks will cost 1 Euro (about 67p) each, with albums starting from 10 Euros (£6.70) and a monthly subscription for PC streaming also costing 10 Euros.

“You can choose between purchasing tracks a la carte via your Nokia device or computer, or you can stream an unlimited number of full length tracks to your computer,” says Tommi Mustonen, the head of Nokia’s music activities. “The unlimited streaming is a great way to discover new music and the integrated mobile and PC download service is a fantastic way to build a music collection that is always with you.”

Nokia’s also launching an online gaming service in November. The cost of games will range from 6-10 Euros (£4-£6.70).

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