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If imitation's a form of flattery, then Apple must be loving Nokia's new XpressMusic smartphones.
The Nokia 5320 XpressMusic uses a 'Say and Play' feature to access a favorite artist or song.
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Introduced Tuesday in London, the Finnish mobile handset maker emphasized the "music-enabled" aspects of the two devices. And Nokia said that both will work with its recently launched Nokia Music Store, all of which could be construed as an attempt to blunt the advantage of Apple's rival iPhone and iTunes service.
Nokia's also giving potential customers plenty of time to whet their mobile music appetites: neither the 5320 or 5220 XpressMusic models will be available until the third quarter. Projected pricing is somewhere in the $254 to $350 range, the vendor said in a statement.
In addition to offering voice telephony and wireless access to the Web, the 5320 XpressMusic also has a Say and Play feature, essentially a voice command to summon a specific artist or song. It also has dedicated music keys, its memory can be extended to up to 8 GB, and it uses HS-USB for transferring music and HSDPA for accessing data.
The 5320 also comes with a browser, which enables access to Ovi and Nokia Search 4.1 for finding and sharing media and information. Dedicated game keys and its landscape offer a richer gaming experience, Nokia said. The 5220 XpressMusic device has an asymmetrical design and a built-in lanyard for easy carrying. Like its sister model, the 5220 has a 3.5mm audio jack, and features up to 24 hours of playback time, Nokia said.
Nokia, like many cell phone makers, has been struggling to compete with the success Apple has had with its iTunes music store, which dominates the market for digital music thanks to the iPod. Apple's popular iPhone only adds to the challenge for other cell phone makers, who see the big market and want to carve off a piece for themselves.