updated 08:50 am EST, Mon December 20, 2010
Cricket outs Muve Music service and Samsung Suede
Cricket this morning took an unusual strategy in linking cellphone service to unlimited music. A new Muve Music plan is the first in the US users not just unlimited calling, messaging and data but also unlimited music downloads, similar to Nokia's Comes With Music. The $55 rate gives access to tracks from all four major labels as well as free ringtones and ringbacks.
The format uses unprotected songs and thus lets users keep any tracks they download as well as copy the files off to other devices. Muve only requires a specially formatted microSD card to talk to a relevant phone.
The first device to support Muve will be the Samsung Suede. The three-inch touchscreen phone runs on a basic feature phone OS but has a full HTML web browser. Most other features are basic but do bring a three-megapixel camera and a dedicated hardware music button to reflect its focus. Only 135MB of storage is built in, but the microSDHC slot takes up to 16GB of memory.
Both the Suede and the music service should go live in January, when the Suede will cost $199 contract-free.