Motorola’s yet-to-be-unveiled ‘ROKR’ phone will be first Apple iTunes phone

“Motorola Inc.’s recovery in 2004 has the company hungry for bigger sales and higher profits as it expands its range of products, its chief executive told Reuters Wednesday. The communications technology company, which increased sales by 35 percent last year and nearly doubled net profit, earlier this week announced a range of new mobile phones with four-letter names, such as the RAZR black, the SLVR and the PEBL,” Reuters reports.

“Another new model, the yet-to-be-unveiled ROKR, will be Motorola’s first phone that is fully compatible with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes software, which will be Motorola’s default music player on handsets,” Reuters reports. “The phone will be Motorola’s way of tapping into the digital music market that has exploded over recent years. Handset competitors Nokia and Sony Ericsson earlier this week announced their own deals with online music services Sony Connect and Loudeye.”

“Unlike Apple, which allows Motorola users to carry a limited number of songs on their mobile phones in order to protect its popular iPod portable music player business, the rivals will allow consumers to carry as much music as they can store on their phone’s memory cards. There are already tiny memory cards on the market with capacity of one gigabyte that can store hundreds of songs,” Reuters reports. None of these initiatives are available to consumers yet, and meanwhile iTunes Music Store is the most popular music store on the Internet and its number of customers is growing. ‘We think we have time, plus we have the market leader (iTunes),’ Zander said. Apple was already discussing with mobile carriers how to let mobile phone users download tracks over the air when the newly announced rivals were just getting started.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Motorola E1060 not, repeat not, the iTunes phone – February 16, 2005
Motorola executive previews iTunes Phone at CES, syncs to iTunes like an Apple iPod – January 06, 2005
Apple’ prodigious hardware and software design skills may help Motorola create iPod phone – December 28, 2004
Apple, Motorola iTunes on cell phones a harmonious deal that benefits both companies – August 05, 2004
Motorola posts Steve Jobs’ Apple iTunes announcement video – July 28, 2004
Apple, Motorola iTunes deal not exclusive, debuts Apple’s licensing of FairPlay DRM – July 27, 2004
Motorola and Apple to bring iTunes Music Player to Motorola’s next-gen mobile phones – July 26, 2004

15 Comments

  1. There’s too much hype over music-capable phones. There’s already talk of how these phones will be iPod-killers.

    Don’t buy the hype. While music capability is a nice feature in cell phones, it will do very little to displace the iPod. The reason is that you don’t want to risk the cell phone to die on you because you’re listening to music. If the iPod batter runs out, that’s a minor inconvenience, but if you’re cell runs out, it’s a major inconvenience for the vast majority of consumers. Analysts don’t seem to realize this.

    No doubt the ROKR and the like will gain a following, but really, how successful has Nokia been displacing the GameBoy with N-Gage?

    Same difference.

  2. Interesting note there about “Apple was already discussing with mobile carriers…” 1. This ties neatly with Frank Casanova’s statement about how content can be delivered to all these 3G cell phones without the need to port software to each phone. 2. Maybe Apple is trying to convince the carriers to use this to gain 3G network subscribers and let Apple not have to share more than 5 cents of the 99 cent price (just like Apple gives to iTunes affiliates).

    iTunes will win again if they have the best user interface for finding and buying songs over the cell phone, and for transferring songs to and from the computer. With cell phone numbers linked to iTMS accounts, impulse buying could become very simple.

  3. I have a PocketPC Phone, a Siemens SX 66. It can play music if I want, I don’t bother. What I like about this phone is that the PocketPC OS is more “Mac Like” than any other PDA on the market. I also like the fact that the phone will sync with my Mac over Bluetooth, WiFi, or a USB cable. I like that I can switch to Skype and make voice over IP calls if my cell signal is weak. I like that I can mount the phone like a disk on my desktop. I can transfer Word documents, images, audio, whatever to the phone. When people call me, large color images of their faces appear. I love this phone. It would take a lot more than iTunes to get me to switch.

    Oh for an Apple PDA/Phone.

  4. Just to clarify, when I wrote “iTunes will win”, I did not mean that the Motorola iTunes phone would sell better than other phones, smartphones, or PDAs. It may be hit for those who want music on their cell phone (I don’t think this a big market.)

    What I did mean was that iTunes Music Store would continue to be the dominant store; in other words, those who use a cell phone to download music would still prefer iTunes over the other choices.

    That’s my “take” (magic word)

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