NEWS: Apple to sell 'premium' iPhone and iPod with unlimited music?

Apple is in talks with the major record labels about plans to give customers unlimited access to its iTunes store, provided they pay a premium for an iPod or iPhone.

According to today's Financial Times, Apple's plan would follow the example of Nokia's "comes with music" deal with Universal Music last December.

Apple has made no comment on the plan, but is apparently still haggling over the price the computer maker would pay for access to the record labels' libraries. Nokia is believed to be offering $80 (£40) per handset to its music industry partners, while Apple has so far only offered about $20 per device.

The company is said to make relatively little money from its iTunes store compared with its hardware sales. The "comes with music" iPods and iPhones would be sold at a premium if bought directly from Apple.

Apple is also thought to be considering a subscription model for customers who buy the iPhone through a mobile phone operator. Under the subscription model, customers would keep be able to keep up to 40 or 50 tracks a year, even if they change their phone or their subscription lapsed.

Market research has apparently shown a strong demand from consumers for deals bundling music with the cost of a music player or phone, or in exchange for a monthly subscription.

Technorati Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPod , iTunes, MP3, MP4

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.