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Vodafone goes DRM-free plus free upgrades: Stitch that, Nokia

Vodafone has announced deals with three major labels to sell DRM-free music through its over-the-air music store, and is even offering free upgrades. Cop that, Comes With Music and iTunes

In what could be a major blow to Nokia's Comes With Music, Vodafone has announced a deal with three major labels to sell DRM-free content through its Vodafone Music Store this summer. Universal, Sony and EMI are all on board for over-the-air DRM-free downloads straight to your phone.

As if that wasn't enough good news, Vodafone has announced that if you've used its store to buy any of these labels' DRM-ed WMA music already, you'll be able to upgrade your tunes to DRM-free MP3s for free. Cop that, iTunes, with your paying-twice shenanigans.

There are already a small number of indie labels with DRM-free deals on the Music Store, but the majors will make 1 million DRM-free tracks available in the summer.

Vodafone says that DRM-free tracks will be a similar price to the current crop of DRM tunes, which means that single tracks will cost 99p and albums from £5.99, but buying in bulk -- and not necessarily from the same album or artist -- can drop the price to as little as 50p a track. 50p for DRM-free Britney Spears, Coldplay, Duffy, Lady Gaga and Lily Allen sounds pretty tasty to us.

Nokia remained cagey about the DRM issue in an online press conference this morning, while launching three new music phones. After stating that DRM was a requirement of the music industry, Nokia representatives refused to take any further questions on the subject. Vodafone, meanwhile, has managed to signed three majors and is in talks with Warner to complete the major label line-up. So no DRM-free Madonna, Enya or Muse yet, but fingers crossed, eh?