Apple Computer and Motorola ‘iTunes mobile phone’ likely to be announced in January at Macworld Expo

“Apple Computer and Motorola could soon show us the mobile phone they are developing to play music purchased from Apple’s iTunes online music store. ‘We’ve said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005 and we’re definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you’ll be able to see more about it soon,’ says Eddy Cue, vice president in charge of applications at Apple,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for Forbes.

“If the phone is as far along as Cue suggests, then Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs would be likely to announce it during his annual keynote speech at MacWorld Expo, scheduled for Jan. 11, 2005 in San Francisco,” Hesseldahl reports. “‘What we’ve talked about is a something that is valuable for the mass market,’ Cue says. ‘It has to be a phone in the middle-tier of the market, not a $500-tier phone. It has to be very seamless to use. And we’re very happy with the results.'”

“The direct PC connection would likely bypass wireless data networks owned by large wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless… Cingular Wireless… and SBC Communications. Consumers wouldn’t be required to pay network fees to download music,” Hesseldahl reports. “That fact has raised concerns among some industry observers that carriers, eager to convince consumers to boost their usage of expensive data networks, might object to phones that don’t need a network connection to download music. Those carriers, who are generally very picky about the phones they sell in their retail stores and what features they support, can easily veto a feature they don’t like.”

Full article here.

22 Comments

  1. I think the appeal of this feature will have less to do with being able to listen to songs on your cellphone, but having the ability to customize your ring tones with thousands of possibilities. downloadable ring tones is having a great deal of success right now and is proving to be quite profitable since many view this as a way of personalizing their phones through unique ring tones. However, since downloading ring tones is quite expensive, a low-cost feature like this is sure to be popular.

  2. am I the only person who thinks this is completely stupid? I will fall out of my chair and watch the rest of the keynote on the floor if Steve announces something this ridiculous. They have better things to do than devleop hardware that requires cell phone carriers to work fully – so the moron Joe Customer can blame Apple’s crappy iPhone for not working, when really it’s Sprint’s crap-ass infrastructure that causes the problems…..

  3. Well if Apple uses a quad band GSM phone, where all you need is a SIM card, then you can get decent coverage over the bulk of the cities.

    Sprint may suck then again they don’t use GSM service either. Cingular, and T-mobile boh use GSM coverage in the states.

  4. I don’t think it will be Apple branded phone… Apple will just provide iTunes/AAC/Fairplay integration. As long as that aspect is sound (pun intended), Apple will still come out smelling like a rose. If the phone service sucks, I think people will still blame the phone carrier… or maybe Motorola.

  5. ok, if its just ringtones we’re talking about, thats one thing… but, if its full songs downloaded onto a cell phone, then I see a couple of potential problems….

    1) … How much storage capacity does a cell phone have, for things like games, videos, music…and what not ?

    2)… I cant imagine anyone having the desire to listen to their favorite music on a cell phone… unless they figure a way to put some hi-fidelity speakers inside the phone…

    Besides…..
    Music is a very personal choice.. for everyone…
    One persons “music”…. is another persons “garbage”….

    Its bad enuff to go to a theater to watch the latest blockbuster, and have to put up with someones cell phone ringing … I wouldnt want to have to put up with having to listen to someone else’s “music” too !!

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