Music phones pose no threat to Apple iPod

“Apple clearly doesn’t perceive Motorola’s ROKR phone as a significant threat, and neither does market watcher Canalys, which today said the MP3 player makers are, for now, safe from mobile phone manufacturing rivals. It doesn’t need to worry about portable media players, either, if forecasts from market researcher In-Stat prove correct,” Tony Smith reports for The Register.

“Canalys calculates that 25.6m music players shipped in H1 2005, not far from the total for 2004 as a whole. Then, some 28.3m devices were sold. Of the units shipped in the first six months of 2005, 44.8 per cent had Apple’s name on them. That compares with the 16 per cent shipped by Creative and the 7.1 per cent sold by the now-defunct Rio,” Smith reports. “The researcher said it believes MP3 player sales will continue to grow despite support for music in mobile phones.”

“The exception is the low-end of the market, where casual listeners may look to load music on their phones rather than fork out for a dedicated playback device… The cross-over point comes when Apple allows a phone vendor to brand a handset with the iPod name. The only Apple brand on the ROKR is iTunes, which shows exactly where Apple sees the device’s value: as a platform for encouraging music sales. That said, Motorola officials appear to have claimed the handset’s 100-track limitation is Apple-imposed, via its DRM technology, rather than a fundamental lack of storage capacity. So Apple does feel the need to hobble the ROKR to a small extent,” Smith reports.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Does Apple need a mobile phone of its own design? – September 09, 2005
USA Today: Motorola ROKR iTunes mobile phone provides ‘snazzy’ first impression – September 08, 2005
NYT’s Pogue: Motorola ROKR iTunes phone ‘great-sounding, reasonably priced and a lot of fun’ – September 08, 2005
Apple’s iPod nano will make competitors whimper, Motorola’s ROKR inexplicably bland – September 07, 2005
Tech pundit Enderle: ‘iPod Nano is a hit,’ Motorola ROKR ‘simply doesn’t have enough Apple in it’ – September 07, 2005
Apple announces Motorola ROKR iTunes phone, Cingular partnership, iTunes 5 – September 07, 2005
Apple, Motorola & Cingular debut world’s first iTunes mobile phone – September 07, 2005
Motorola ROKR Apple iTunes mobile phone availability dates for Europe, North America, and Asia – September 07, 2005


  1. Definitely an Apple-imposed limit. The nano hardware would fit easily inside an existing el-cheapo phone, turning it into a complete iPod/phone solution.

    Clearly, Apple doesn’t want someone else to build a complete iPod/phone solution. Probably using this Motorola deal to test the waters for the market.

  2. “Music phones pose no threat to Apple iPod” because all of the music phones released to date (including the iTunes phone) have all the style of the Creative Zen <insert wierd alien-sounding name here>. THAT’S the reason. Yes, iTunes and the UI of the iPod are important, but the biggest reason for their widespread popularity (by far) is the look of the device. It’s a status symbol. People want to carry one around even if there’s no music on it. IT JUST LOOKS COOL. As yet, the music phones don’t.

    Give me an iTunes (or, dare I say, Sony Connect) RAZR that holds 1,000 songs and I may just leave my iPod at home.

  3. Man, not many posts to this subject… I guess it’s true then that folks don’t really give a rat’s behind about having iTunes in their phone ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool grin” style=”border:0;” />

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