We’ve known it was going to launch this quarter and feature local music from the Liberation record label, but now Nokia has unveiled the official release date for their ‘Comes With Music’ service for Australia. Starting on March 20, you’ll be able to pick up a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, and have the ability to download as much music as you want for a year that you’ll be able to keep forever.The phone will cost $979 outright, which may seem a little expensive for what is essentially a mid-range Nokia, but you have to remember that you can download as much music as you want from the 4-million song strong catalogue over 12 months, and that cost is built into the price. In addition, “selected service providers” will be offering the handset for $1109 with the bonus of 18 months subscription to the ‘Comes With Music’ service.
At this stage, it is only the XpressMusic that is eligible with the service, but Nokia promise that more handsets will have the option as time moves on. Oh, and all the tracks are laden with DRM, so you won’t be able to play them on your iPod.
As much as I really like the idea, I think a lot of people who might be interested in taking it up will wait for a higher end smartphone to work with the service before they sign up. Would you guys move to the 5800 for this? I know I wouldn’t, but if it were on the N96 or the upcoming N97… well that might entice me enough.