Sprint aims to match Apple’s iPhone + iTunes Store, cuts music track price to 99-cents

“Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to cut its digital music download fee to 99 cents per song, matching prices at iTunes, the leading Internet music service run by Apple Inc.,” Reuters reports.

“Sprint, which announced the move Monday, a day ahead of the CTIA Wireless conference, is the first of the top three mobile phone service providers to offer this price, which will go into effect in early April. It currently charges $2.49 per song,” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports, “Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said the price cut should help Sprint win new music customers. He said bigger rival Verizon Wireless… and Vodafone Group, would probably follow suit.”

“The move by Sprint, which also announced a slim new music-playing phone from Samsung Electronics Co., comes ahead of Apple’s launch of its iPhone in June,” Reuters reports. “One side of the Samsung phone, dubbed the Upstage, has a big screen that takes up most of the phone and keys dedicated to the music player. On the other side is a typical phone keypad and a much smaller screen.”

Reuters reports, “Greengart noted that while the Samsung phone is innovative, it is not in the same league as the iPhone. ‘It doesn’t challenge the iPhone in any shape or form,’ he said, pointing to the iPhone’s touch-screen interface with a computerlike keyboard.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

AppleInsider notes that the Samsung phone will cost $149 with a two-year Sprint contract and features a 64MB MicroSD memory card and over-the-air music downloads to the device from the Sprint Music Store’s library of over 1.5 million songs. Apple’s iTunes Store features more than 3.5 million songs, 65,000 free podcasts, 20,000 audiobooks, over 200 TV shows, movies, music videos, and iPod games. Apple plans to offer two iPhone models initially with 4GB and 8GB of built-in NAND flash storage for $499 and $599 respectively. AT&T Wirelss has not yet disclosed rate plans for Apple’s iPhone.

“Apple, whose iPhone is not expected until June, has not said if users will be able to download music tracks direcly to the device over ATT’s wireless network,” AppleInsider notes. For the Samsung phone, “a new Power Vision Access Pack will be available for $15 and include 10 commercial-free radio channels from Sprint Radio, exclusive video programming, and 99 cent song downloads. For $5 more per month, a Vision Music Pack will add another 40 channels of commercial-free radio channels and a a channel from Sprint TV that features music videos.”

Full article, with more details and larger images of the Samsung UpStage phone here.
This two-headed kludge won’t cause Apple to lose any sleep, but it would be nice if it prompted Cupertino to allow for over-the-air iTunes purchases and — blasphemy, we know — access to commercial-free or even just iTunes ad-supported radio would be nice.

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23 Comments

  1. Wonder if you can buy the iPhone and not the cell phone service ?
    I mean … the iPhone appears to be the next “must have” gadget
    but, (for me) having a cell phone would be akin to having
    a virtual umbillical cord …

  2. I really dont see this samsung as a threat to anything. It looks kind of crappy. plus not everyone wants sprints online mp3 download. lets see if i were sprint and i wanted to sell allot i would make my phone compatible with itunes. Everyone is got to try and fail before they realize Apple has it and no one else does. the iphone is the most awesome piece of equiptment i have seen and i cant wait for this to come out. My only grype is that its not for tmobile. Why cingular they have horrible cust service. This phone from samsung is ugly i do mean UGLY UGLY. its like no one gets the idea behind the iphone is more then what it can do its the way it looks and its ease of use. i would never carry this ugly thing around in my pocket. I have a sony walkman phone its not the greatest but it sure looks better then this thats for sure. Most companines dont care about design they think cheap is the way to go and if they make some crappy design anyone will be happy with it and maybe it doesnt work the best but you will buy it anyway. these companies are sadly mistaken.

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  3. “that thing is hideous! some companies just don’t get it when it comes to design, they really think we’re mindless and will accept anything you throw out there.”

    But most of the world DOES accept anything you throw out there. Just look at Windows’ market share.

  4. The iPod workflow has always had the “master” music files on your iTunes computer and only allowing “copies” on your iPod. This has protected customers music files from being accidentally lost or deleted.

    Direct music download would work if it automatically synced back with the base computer the next time it is connected to it.

    Radio will happen some day if enough people ask for it. If you want it, use the “Provide iTunes Feedback” feature offered by Apple.

  5. oh my,

    if you take out the cell phone function and leave in everything else, you’re left with a hand-held computer that could also be used as a telephone when you’re in a hot spot (wifi – internet – Skype)

    I don’t know whether Apple have agreed with AT&T not to do that.

    Probably not, because people want their phones to work all the time, not just in certain cafés or restaurants and it would therefore not be seen as a threat.

    But it will be interesting to see just how many functions from the iPhone are used in the coming touch-screen iPod.

    I’m sure that OS X will be one of them, and in that case, the iPod (like the iPhone) will be moving in the direction of becoming a hand-held computer.

  6. There’s a terrible mistake in this article – I’m really surprised nobody else has spotted it. The picture of the ‘Upstage’ is actually of something so foul looking that nobody would take it out with them – at least not without keeping it in a paper bag or something. MDN, standards! – please show us a picture of the real ‘Upstage’, not something you put together out of Lego.

  7. MDN take says: “…but it would be nice if it prompted Cupertino to allow for over-the-air iTunes purchases”

    This would remove one of the keystones of Apple’s iPod success: keeping the complexity in the computer not in the device.

  8. Good. Let the competition begin. (not that there is any)
    By the time it is over, the customers will be the winners.
    More access to more features. I hope more companies try something like this.

    MW:bring, as in ‘it on’.

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