Vodafone Unveils Brand New iTunes Competitor

Vodafone has partnered with Realnetworks to deliver over the fly downloads to its mobile phone users in a bid to increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) through a new service called "Vodafone Music"

Prospective customers can choose either to download single music tracks at 99p or albums at £7.99 through an application that resides on the phone - that's slightly more expensive that Apple's own iTunes although it does include data charges (ed : how high can that be?)

Intriguinly, Vodafone already offers another subscription service called Onnifone Musicstation which offers unlimited DRM-protected downloads for £1.99, so it would be interesting to see which one gets customers' thumbs up.

The main difference is that Vodafone Music users will be able to keep their music.

Customers will be able to preview 30 seconds of each song before downloading them.

It seems that, just like retail computers from Dell or HP, mobile networks are increasingly resorting to putting money-generating applications or services on their users' mobile phones.