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Orange touts 'Great for Music' handsets

Sony Ericsson's Walkman phone not among them

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Mobile phone network Orange today unveiled a trio of handsets it will label 'Great for Music' to strengthen its push into the mobile digital music market.

The launch coincides with the arrival of Find Music, Orange's attempt to associate itself with live music events, most notably the Glastonbury festival.

The Great for Music line-up comprises Nokia's 6680 and 3230 handsets, the former the company's 3G model, and the Sony Ericsson K300i, all "specially selected... to offer the best mobile music experience to as wide a range of customers as possible", apparently. Only the 6680 comes pre-loaded with Orange's Music Player and Fireplayer - they can be downloaded from Orange World, the network's WAP-based multimedia service, which also sells ringtones, games wallpaper and music videos.

Both apps allow network subscribers to download songs, but Fireplayer allows you to remix them too, albeit at a price: Music Player tracks cost £1.50 per download and Fireplayer tracks cost &pound:3.50 per download.

From next month Music Player downloads will count toward the official UK Top 40 Download Chart, Orange said. The network joins a range of UK online music providers whose figures contribute to the chart, including Apple's iTunes, Napster, Wippit, Woolworths and Tesco.

Orange will be touting the handsets through Find Music a programme of event sponsorships, linked to a deal struck with www.gigsandtours.com to allow customers to buy tickets to concerts by WAP.

Among them may be this June's Glastonbury Festival and July's T in the Park event. Orange said it will be offering phone recharge stations at both gigs. ®

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