Motorola’s Apple iTunes phone in trouble?

“The tech match made in heaven has prompted a hell of a standoff. Bowing to pressure from its wireless telco customers, Motorola yanked its new Apple iTunes phone from its scheduled unveiling at the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany, on Thursday,” Scott Moritz writes for The Street. “Building on the design success of its thin metal-clad RAZR phone, Motorola tapped Apple for iTunes, the music system inside the iPod digital music player. The scorchingly hot idea came together in a new music phone called ROKR. The stunning ROKR no-show at two of Motorola’s prime product showcases offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the power struggle between phonemakers and the phone companies that want to play a big role in the music download business.”

Moritz writes, “A Motorola representative says there is ‘absolutely nothing wrong with the phones,’ and that the decision ‘had nothing to do with anyone other than Motorola.’ But analysts say the telcos canceled the iTunes phone debut party because they are in no mood to celebrate another feature that doesn’t drive up network revenue. ‘This is a manifestation of conflict we’ll see more and more as the phone takes on additional functionality,’ says Yankee Group analyst John Jackson. “‘It’s a losing game for the carriers,’ says Snyder. The iPod and MP3 crowd uses PCs to download music, and they won’t be inclined to pay the phone company for tunes they already own, says Snyder. ‘The carriers hate that answer because it means they don’t get any part of the multimedia phone pie, just as they haven’t gotten squat with imaging,’ says Snyder. The Motorola rep said the company continues to working with its carrier customers, and industry observers say they expect Motorola’s iTunes phone to be available to customers as early as this summer.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Motorola says iTunes phone unveiling delay not caused by dispute with carriers – March 10, 2005
Motorola says it’s working on more iTunes phones, some models ‘can store eight hours of music’ – March 10, 2005
Motorola indefinitely postpones Apple iTunes phone unveiling – March 10, 2005
Motorola’s ‘ROKR’ Apple iTunes mobile phone to be unveiled this Thursday – March 06, 2005
Motorola’s yet-to-be-unveiled ‘ROKR’ phone will be first Apple iTunes phone – February 16, 2005
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


  1. ‘The carriers hate that answer because it means they don’t get any part of the multimedia phone pie”

    They get the PHONE part of the multimedia phone pie. Why do they deserve anything else?

  2. How the hell does this not drive up network value? Customers will make GPRS or 1X calls to pull down these songs…wtf!!!??

    Are carriers that greedy that they want more than the data costs???


    Peter P.

  3. It can only be a delaying tactic somebody will break ranks and will by doing so gain quite a considerable advantage over the others. They will all be too scared to be left behind, to delay things for too long. Unfortunately that delay is frustrating and as has been raised is it MS inspired.

  4. This anti-capitalist, anti-american bullshit needs to be dealt with. Will it? I highly doubt it, especially from an administration that constantly bends over for big money strong arm tactics.

  5. Its nothing to do with Microsoft.. its just the carriers, as usual, being way behind the curve and failing to realise that people aren’t dumb enough to pay extra to download music to their mobiles they either already own, or can download cheaper through the PCs/Macs.

  6. These guys give capitalism a bad name. In a free market, capitalism works. But there’s no such thing as a free market where monopolies are allowed to leverage themselves to monopolize new markets, where oligopolists are allowed to collude to prevent competition, and in general where there is no oversight.

    Like the price of social freedom, the price of market freedom is eternal vigilance. Unfortunately, the vigils guarding the free-market henhouse are the same foxes who need to be kept out. This administration has stuffed with soulless industry lobbies all of the government regulatory agencies, including the SEC, FCC, DOE, DOI, FDA, EPA, and FEC, not to mention its craven Justice Department, and next the Judiciary. By the way, in any other administration, this kind of blatant conflict of interest would have been prevented by the Executive appointed USOGE (Office of Government Ethics). Haven’t heard of them a lot during the Cheney/Bush Junta, have you?

    If the FCC and DOJ were doing their jobs (rather than that of those they are paid to regulate and prosecute), the wireless carriers would be in antitrust litigation right now, for offenses like refusing to support Bluetooth phones for years (which threatened their data income stream), and now this. But you won’t see this until after the 2008 election.

  7. “This anti-capitalist, anti-american bullsh*t needs to be dealt with. Will it? I highly doubt it, especially from an administration that constantly bends over for big money strong arm tactics”

    What? This is a purely capitalist situation of settling into a market’s compromise between what the customers want and what the manufacturers are willing to provide at an attractive price point. The only thing ‘anti-capitalist’ would be to expect an elected administration to step into the situation and muck it up with a lot of goofy pronouncements “for the good of the masses”. That’s not capitalism – that’s, well, Europe.

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