Sprint launches music download service Reuters 8:37 am October 31, 2005 NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The No. 3 U.S. mobile service Sprint Nextel Corp. on Monday introduced a wireless music download service using phones from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sanyo Electric Co. . The service is part of an ongoing effort to boost revenue by getting customers to use their handsets for more than just phone calls. Music is seen as one of the next big things in phones, most of which already sport cameras and Web browsers. Sprint Nextel and its bigger rivals Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless already sell phones that can store and play music that users transfer from their computers but this is the first U.S. service that lets customers buy songs on the go. Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless have said they plan to launch similar services next year. Sprint Nextel said it would send full songs to consumers' handsets and their computer for $2.50 each under the new service, two and a half times Apple Computer Inc.'s price for songs downloaded to computers through its popular iTunes music service. While Sprint and its rivals believe consumers would pay a premium to buy music while they are on the move, many analysts have been skeptical about whether this would work. Research group Ovum expects the U.S. wireless music download market to be worth $1.5 billion in five years. Sprint had said this summer that it planned to introduce a music service in time for the holiday shopping season which is expected to start in the days after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24. It said on Monday it would offer the service, which uses software from privately-held Groove Mobile, on Sanyo's MM-9000 and Samsung's MM-A940.