In a move that would position BlackBerry devices better against iPhone and the other popular smartphones, Research in Motion (RIM) has joined forces with the UK-based online music firm 7Digital to offer BlackBerry users MP3 downloads directly to their handsets.
The new download service will reportedly be available as an application download via Blackberry Apps World store from September, and will present as many as six million tracks to users in the US, Germany, the UK, Canada, Spain and France.
It has been reported that a majority of the downloaded tracks will sport price tag worth around 79p, while albums will be priced at £7.99. Moreover, the tracks will be DRM-free, thereby enabling users to transfer the tracks to their MP3 player or PC as per their choice.
The step marks RIM’s attempt to explore the smartphone market beyond business domains, and the application seems all set to take on other popular services, including Apple iTunes, as well as Nokia’s unlimited Comes With Music service.
However, the chief exec for 7Digital Ben Dury dismissed rumours of launching Nokia Comes With Music type of unlimited music service on Blackberry device. “We see the BlackBerry application as very much an impulse thing - you hear a song you like and can get it instantly”, he added.
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The timing couldn't be better as Blackberry becomes a major force in the consumer market. However, it is not known whether 7Digital users will be charged for the price of the MP3 track AND the download data as well, something that Comes With Music for example includes. Furthermore, the music market is set to experience a tectonic shift as Microsoft is set to launch a streaming service soon.