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In an effort to improve declining market share, cellular provider Cellcom on Sunday launched its "Volume 2" playlist and MP3 enabled product portfolio, allowing customers to download music through their mobile phones.
The company said it is introducing six new phones, which will carry a library of 10,000 songs, "with an extensive range of Israeli songs," following the success of its "volume" campaign last year.
Adi Cohen, VP Marketing at Cellcom, said the focus on the world of music in its product line follows global trends where "cellular music sales are expected to overtake compact disc sales in 2006."
Figures provided by the company showed that worldwide music sales in the cellular market totaled $4.3 billion in 2005 and is forecast to grow to $5.7b. this year and to $7.2b. in 2007.
In the coming months, Cellcom will bring to the market the Sony Ericsson W600, Motorola E1, Motorola V191, Motorola L2, Nokia 6280 and the Nokia 6111, adding to the six MP3 player - cellular phones already in its portfolio.
The company will be relying on the new products to boost its sales since it has been losing market share. In the third quarter of 2005, the company had the lowest new subscriber base of the three cellular companies in the market, recruiting 35,000 new customers (net) compared to Pelephone's 74,000 and Partner's 71,000.
Cellphones are seen as the biggest competitor to MP3 manufacturers such as Apple, which last year launched its iPod Nano. Weighing in at 42 grams, it is the smallest in size but biggest seller on the market.
Cohen added that over 50% of the phones that Cellcom will market this year will feature music products.