“There is a digital land rush going on, driven by rapid advances in technology that make it possible to put more and more tools of higher and higher quality into phones. The recognition that talk is only part of the cellphone’s future — that it is becoming a personal window into an evolving blend of communications, computing and media — has the existing players in the cellphone market scrambling, and new entrants looking for a way in,” Steve Lohr writes for The New York Times News Service.
“Handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung are introducing the next generation: multimedia phones. The latest entrants, announced last week by Nokia, include a model that can hold up to 3,000 songs, and another phone that doubles as a high-quality camera and video recorder that can shoot and store an hour of video. Media companies — from Time Warner and Viacom to Google and Yahoo — are looking to the cellphone as a new market for their entertainment, news and search products, and software makers, led by Microsoft, have also entered the fray,” Lohr writes.
“The ascendant computer-media hybrid, Apple, plans to test the market in a few months with a music cellphone, designed in partnership with Motorola, hoping to extend its music business beyond the iPod,” Lohr writes. “Apple’s first step into the market, according to industry executives familiar with the company’s plans, will be a modest one — a phone designed to hold a day’s playlist of music, about 25 songs, which can be loaded from a personal computer or purchased from a wireless music store. The phone is being carefully positioned as an enhancement to the iPod instead of a potential alternative.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: At some point, as phones hit 6-10GB capacities, Apple will need to have an answer. Either an iPod that can place / receive phone calls or a mobile phone that has 10+GB and a headphone jack will suffice. And it can be good at being both a phone and music player; just look at the miniscule size of an iPod shuffle and some of the tiny phones on the market today. We’ll get this device eventually from someone (hopefully from Apple). And it’ll probably take pretty decent snapshots, too. Apple, get ready, here come the beginnings of your real competition. The good news is that the initial price for the Nokia is too high, 4GB is a bit too small (and doesn’t really hold 3,000 songs at a quality bitrate), Apple has the patent pending iPod Click Wheel, and Apple has a dominant market position.
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