Top mobile phone maker Nokia said on Wednesday France Telecom's Orange would sell its top model 5800 and exclusive music-package deal in Britain.
Nokia unveiled its music-bundle Comes with Music last October in Britain -- seen as the acid test market for new mobile services in Europe -- but so far it has lacked operator support and has gained little traction.
It's undoubtedly a positive development for Nokia, but they still need to address the bigger problem of communication -- the market simply doesn't understand it, said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber.
Comes With Music offers unlimited music from major music labels and a number of independents and the music can be kept after the contract has expired. The individual tracks can be downloaded to a phone and a single computer and are free, though the cost of the music is reflected in the price of the phone or subscription itself.
Nokia introduced the 5800, its first touch screen phone, late last year, and it sold 2.6 million of them in the first quarter, making it the top revenue and gross margin contributor in the lineup. Apple sold 3.9 million iPhones in the quarter.
Orange offers a free Nokia 5800 if clients sign up for packages, with monthly prices starting from 24.47 pounds ($37.13). Its closest rival iPhone, without free music access, is free at rival O2 on contracts starting from 34.26 pounds.
The music industry hopes Nokia's Comes with Music phones and music service, and similar packages from other hardware vendors, will help make up for falling CD sales and cut illegal downloads.
($1=.6591 British Pound)
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Simon Jessop)