Nokia managed to surprise everybody with their latest service called "Comes with music". Nokia users will be receiving a 1 year free subscription to the service which allows unlimited music downloads to your mobile phone and PC. When the year expires, you get to keep the music.
It's first of a kind service and has no competition. We are yet wondering where the trick is as it sounds too good to be true. It's not yet clear which Nokia handsets will receive the service for free.
Universal Music is the first partner of the Nokia service, more will follow later on. The music downloading fiesta will obviously begin somewhere in mid-2008.
The free access to music will undoubtedly create some pressure on Apple's iTunes Music Store. Universal Music pulled out of iTunes earlier this year.
Update: We finally got a hold on of the full story abut the Nokia Comes with Music service. The whole deal is that Nokia is paying Universal Music a 5-dollar-monthly-fee for every handset sold by Nokia with the service. Nokia may or may not charge the user with a premium price for the handsets. It seems that indeed, you can keep the tracks after the 1-year-free-subscription expires, however they are all DRM protected, so you can forget about listening these songs on other music players beside your Nokia phone. In case you want to transfer them to other media, you'll have to buy all the tracks.
Editorial comment: We wish we could have been able to report to you with more details live from Amsterdam where the Nokia World event is held but unfortunately it seems that Nokia staff either doesn't find our website major enough to spare an invitation, or they simply give priority to Nokia- and Symbian-oriented fan sites. We went into a great deal of effort in order to obtain an invitation, but we were turned down by everyone we've contacted.