Motorola targets Apple iPod with portable digital music player and cell phone combo device

“Motorola is set to go after the market that Apple has broken open with its iPod handheld digital music player. Motorola Chief Brand Officer Geoffrey Frost on Monday demonstrated the E398–a compact cell phone outfitted with stereo speakers, a digital camera and removable memory–at M.I.T.’s Designing Bits & Pieces Conference in Cambridge, Mass. The conference, sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association, focuses on work being done at M.I.T.’s Consumer Electronics Lab,” Steven Burke reports for CRN.

“The E398 is slated to begin shipping this summer, according to Frost. T-Mobile plans to market the E398 in Europe this fall, and Motorola is still talking to carriers about offering the product in the United States, he said. Pricing hasn’t been finalized,” Burke reports. “‘It’s sort of a mini iPod that makes phone calls,’ said Frost, who was wearing the E398 around his neck during his presentation and demonstrated the unit’s stereo capability. ‘It’s pretty cool,’ he added.”

Burke reports, “Frost positioned the E398 as a complement to the iPod. ‘I love my iPod,’ he said. ‘It has everything I own on it musically, and I do take it with me sometimes. I always have this [E398] with me.’ Motorola plans to release another cell-phone/iPod device at the end of this year that also plays video, in addition to the E398’s other features, Frost said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rumors say that Apple’s iPod mini form factor may be able to be snapped into a cell phone device in the future. It would be nice to combine two devices hanging from our belts (iPod and cell phone) into one, wouldn’t it?

29 Comments

  1. Eventually the mobile phone manufacturers will take away the iPod’s market. That is inevitable. I’m sure Apple know this, and will be ready at that point to license FairPlay to them. In the meantime, there is way too much money to be made with the iPod itself.

  2. next item from Apple the iPhone?? bluetooth enabled, microhard disk, and what else can they shove in their. The next major got to have item?

    Oh I get it now. iMac, iPod, iTunes, iTem. Gotta get me one of those toys???

  3. Does anyone do any research before ringing the alarm bell?

    I’ve done some digging on the specs of the E398 and – to be honest – it’s only an iPod killer if you want to carry a whole bucket of expansion modules.

    Apparently, this phone – for that’s what it is – uses (yet another) new removable media format called TransFlash (http://www.sandisk.com for more info) which maxes out at 128MB for the time being.

    62 songs at 128K is not quite the same as 1000 songs, unless you used to work for Enron’s accounts department.

  4. People only want to carry around one device, but the technology is not even close to good enough now for adequate storage capacity–maybe in 4-5 years, maybe longer.

  5. Isn’t it about time that we get tired of this iPod killer thing? Shoot, you’d think they’d still be calling lawn mowers grass killers, they’re so obsessed with this good vs. evil paradigm.

    GET OVER IT!

    Nobody is going to kill the iPod, but me! And I’m not anywhere near even thinking about that.

  6. It would be cool to use the dial as a dialer (ala 70’s ATT phones). You could play the old sound as you’re dialing too! Would appeal to audiophiles and wierd people like me who remember (with nostalgia) rotary phones.

  7. MCCFR, your Enron comment was hilarious.

    Instead of calling all these new fangled devices iPod killers, why not just call it variety? If killing the iPod is the only reason you are creating a product, then you need to re-evaluate your business model.

  8. LOVE the idea of snapping my iPod into my cell-phone. I hope that’s true. I always have my cell phone with me – and I always have my iPod – but I like small purses. Big problem! And – why not add iChat somehow into the mix?

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