Google’s Gphone won’t be officially unveiled for another 30 minutes or so, but more and more details are emerging. The latest: Amazon has confirmed that the new phone will come preloaded with its MP3 music store (kudos to VentureBeat for getting this yesterday). If Amazon and Google integrate this well, this will make the Gphone at least as compelling a music player as Apple’s iPhone, which is saying something.
- You can search, browse and sample Amazon’s 6 million songs whenever you’ve got a live connection on T-Mobile.
- You won’t be able to actually purchase the songs, though, until you’ve got a Wifi connection. These are the same reststrictions that Apple has placed on its mobile version of iTunes.
- Same pricing as conventional Amazon Web purchases — most songs will be 89 cents. All of them will be sold in DRM-free MP3 format. We usually pooh-pooh the benefits of DRM-free sales, but in this case it’s a noteworthy feature: It means that Gphone/Android owners who buy songs from Amazon can eventually play them on their iPods, which is a pretty big deal.
Amazon has made some decent headway since launching its MP3 store last year. We’ve yet to see official numbers, but music industry execs guesstimate that it has clawed out something like 5 to 8% of the digital download market. Just as important, it gives the big music labels someone else to deal with other than Apple (AAPL), and hooking up with the Gphone makes it even more attractive.
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