Vodafone hits back at iTunes

Vodafone Sweden has responded to Tuesday's news that Apple is to open its iTunes stores in Scandinavia by announcing a summer music sale in its 3G music store.

The store allows customers to browse and choose from 500,000 songs, and then download selected tracks direct to their mobile phone. Vodafone will be selling singles for 8.90 kronor each or in a package of ten for 39 kronor. That is considerably cheaper than iTunes’ rate of 9 kronor per song.

And Vodafone has upped the pressure on Apple by offering customers unlimited free downloads throughout the summer for a one-off fee of 99 kronor.

Naturally, Vodafone did not mention iTunes in its press release but the company is clearly attempting to seize the initiative before the Apple venture gathers momentum.

“Since we launched our music store last November, our catalogue of full track downloads has grown from 3,000 to 500,000 tracks and constitutes Sweden’s largest music store,” said Anders Jensen, head of consumer marketing at Vodafone Sweden.

“With a 3G handset customers can download music anytime, anywhere. This makes the 3G mobile a unique music gadget,” he added.

The offer period runs from 1st June to 31st August.