Vodafone Rolls Out New Handsets And Music

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You can deduce two things from yesterday’s announcements of new handsets and services from UK mobile provider Vodafone.

The first is that the glittery new phones means that the Christmas shopping season is just about upon us.

The second is that, in its deal with Omnifone to provide music downloads to phones, Vodafone is almost certainly out of the running to carry the iPhone in the UK.

Under the arrangement, customers will be able to download an unlimited number of tracks to their mobiles for just over $4 per week. Omnifone’s service, called MusicStation, reportedly carries over a million tracks, including all the major labels. Users will be able to download on the move.

Although the service will be available on the new range of phones, the fact that it also works with 2.5G and 3G phones means that the vast majority of Vodafone customers won’t need to upgrade their handsets to use it.

Vodafone already has a pay-per-track service, but claims this new offering is a first for UK mobile customers. Since it positions the company in direct competition with the iPhone and iTunes, it becomes a safe assumption that Vodafone is out of the running to be the company that handles the set in the UK, which confirms recent media rumors.