“While all parties agree that music + cell phones = huge money, putting the elements together to everyone’s satisfaction seems fraught with conflict,” Scott Moritz reports for The Street. “The acrimony was on display last week when Motorola rocked the annual CTIA wireless industry gathering by canceling the introduction of Rokr, its Apple iTunes phone.”
Moritz reports, “Motorola originally said the iPod-inspired phone was ready but that company alone decided to delay the unveiling. Later, Motorola chief Ed Zander offered up the official line, saying that Apple actually prompted the delay so it could do a big launch when the phone hit the store shelves. But industry insiders and analysts say the real snag in the iTunes phone rollout isn’t a technical glitch, for a change — but a case of unfinished business deals. It seems the iPod phone promises to be a big opportunity, yet none of the principals has figured out how to slice it.”
“In one corner there’s Apple. The much-admired tech shop sold about 10 million iPods last year. Massive, to be sure, but nevertheless it’s dwarfed by the 700 million cell phones that will be sold this year worldwide. To get a toe in the door of this market, Apple licensed its iTunes music library system to Motorola,” Moritz reports. “The risk for Apple is that Motorola’s Rokr could cannibalize the iPod business. Also, the iPod crowd uses PCs to download music currently and may not want to buy songs a second time over their phones. So if the telcos push their hands and demand a cut of the song purchases, it could weaken Apple’s iTunes music downloading business.”
MacDailyNews Take: As we understand it, the Moto phones will act just like iPods and would sync with your Mac or PC. Users wouldn’t have to buy songs a second time to hear them on their phones and that concept would obviously be dead on arrival with customers anyway.
Moritz continues, “Then there’s Motorola. As the No. 2 cell phone maker, having sold 108 million handsets last year, Motorola would love to add another hot model to its lineup and make a run at No. 1 Nokia. The risk for Motorola is that Apple could severely restrict the music storage capacity on phones to limit Rokr’s threat to iPod. And finally there are the telcos like Sprint, Cingular and Verizon Wireless, which look at music as one of the big revenue engines set to drive data service sales over newly upgraded networks. The phone companies, which saw little or no revenue benefits from the camera phone craze, are leery of being left on the sidelines of another big trend.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Release the damn phones already, before we lose interest. Why does it seem that everything with which Motorola’s involved eventually turns into amateur hour?
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