Samsung has launched its Music Hub service in the U.S. It's an effort to capture some of the buzz around Spotify with a feature that combines a cloud music locker, unlimited song streaming, a radio player, and a music store. All that costs $10 a month, although song purchases are charged separately. The catch: you need a Samsung Galaxy S III phone to use it. The U.S. launch on Tuesday comes with a 30-day free trial period. Music Hub was introduced in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Britain in May.
T.J. Kang, senior vice president of Samsung's media services, said that while matching Music Hub's features might cost more through a patchwork of other services, Samsung won't be losing money because of its arrangement with cellphone carriers and music companies. "We basically are doing it to make our device more competitive by providing the best experience," Kang said. Samsung wouldn't say how many people have signed up for Music Hub.
The company is embroiled in a legal battle with Apple Inc., which accuses Samsung of copying the design of the iPhone in its Galaxy line of phones. A trial involving the world's two largest makers of mobile phones began Tuesday in San Jose, California.
Last week research firm IDC said Samsung Electronics Co. extended its lead over Apple in mobile phones, shipping 50.2 million units worldwide in the April-June quarter, compared to 26 million for Apple.