The Independent reported that Orange is at odds with Nokia over its new music service which is scheduled for launch today. The paper claims to have “seen” a memo from Orange to Nokia that threatens to derange an 8GB device to be debuted today. Orange insists that if Nokia doesn’t agree to a trial measuring the performance of Nokia’s music service against Orange’s own music service their handset business will go elsewhere. The operator set a deadline of 31 August for Nokia’s reply.
The memo said: “We are still to see a working demo of the music store; we would expect a significant level of customer confusion and increased calls to customer services as a result of housing both players on a device and our data tariffs would be negatively impacted as they were not designed to deal with such large individual music files. In short, if this was an Orange service, we would definitely not launch yet to protect our customer experience.”
As Nokia prepares to launch an iTunes competitor today, Orange wants to ensure that their handset provider doesn’t cannibalize the operator’s revenue from its own music service. One has to wonder if the “trial” will infact result in the trottling of Nokia’s service to ensure a better subscriber experience for Orange. So, perhaps when it comes to Nokia’s internal narrative, We have 800 million customers outside the US and only 4 customers inside the US, Orange seems to be rewriting that statement. The network owner is still in charge regardless of what Nokia think.