Motorola ROKR iTunes-enabled mobile phone greeted with cool response

Some industry analysts have given the Motorola ROKR iTunes-enabled mobile phone a cool response. Ben Schneiders reports for The Independent, “‘We have not had a chance to test this product, but it looks like a lemon thanks to a string of bad decisions,’ said an Ovum research report of the new mobile, which also includes a camera, video and internet access. ‘It has been roundly panned on a large number of sites and is now likely to struggle in the market,’ the report added.”

“Mr Jobs described the device, which allows songs to be transferred to mobiles from an iTunes jukebox on a Mac or PC, as an iPod Shuffle for your phone,” Schneiders reports. “However, Ovum senior analyst Dario Betti told The Independent on Sunday that he was not convinced by its design and said the product was less adventurous than expected. “‘It could have been one of the first of its kind, but right now it’s a generic-model phone with lots of features.'”

Full article here.

John Naughton reports for The Observer, “Those who have used the Rokr say it’s quite a good phone (with a camera, Bluetooth, speaker, voice dialling and reasonable battery life) but nothing special. And the (Motorola-designed) software is as uninspiring as that of the Razr. (Why is it that Nokia is apparently still the only company capable of designing an intuitive user interface for telephony?)”

Naughton reports, “The music-player module works like an iPod – though it lacks the clickwheel that makes its big brothers function so slickly. But overall, the impression is distinctly underwhelming. The word on the streets is that far from being the revolutionary device that will bring about media ‘convergence’, the Rokr is, well, just the sum of its parts… The real significance of the iPhone is the way it illustrates why companies find it hard to innovate. The difficulty stems from a simple, unpalatable fact – namely that radical innovation generally threatens your existing business model. Or, in MBA-speak, it cannibalises your core business.”

Full article here.
Again, Apple should make their own Apple-designed, Apple-branded mobile phone. A phone that the iPod nano would simply slip in and out of at the user’s whim. Or a phone that would slip on and off your iPod nano. Either way, the Apple “iPhone” would be a phone that becomes musical with the addition of your iPod. There’d be no cannibalization if Apple approached the design in this way.

Related articles:
If Apple isn’t working on their own iPhone, they’re making a stupid mistake – September 12, 2005
Music phones pose no threat to Apple iPod – September 09, 2005
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. First thing is that Cingular sucks. Secondly, an iPod/cell phone hybrid isn’t ever going to be as good as having an iPod nano plus a high end tiny cell phone. I’d rather carry two great (and very small) devices than one hybrid device that is just so-so at both playing music and handling phone calls.

  2. Get rid of the stupid camera! Who needs horribly small low quality images? An Ideal phone for me will send and receive calls, have an address-book, screen, bluetooth, and play music while being as small as the Nano.

  3. I wonder what the folks at Motorola thought about the ROKR being introduced, and totally overshadowed by, the iPod nano. Talk about second banana. I don’t think much of the ROKR either, but it would have difficult for any phone to look cool on the same stage as the nano.

    In my area, Cingular is better than any of the other providers. Really depends on location.

  4. I think even SJ couldn’t hide the fact that he thought the design was a ‘dog’ – in stark contrast to the nano – when he introduced it last week.

    Now we need Sony to get off its pedestal and collaborate with Apple to design a suitable enclosure for iTunes – or for Apple to design their own

  5. I like MDN’s idea for nano + phone. May be Apple can add bluetooth to iPod, so iPod can act as an earphone/microphone for any bluetooth enabled cell phones and provide similar functionality as ROKR (turn off music and become earphone/microphone for the phone, when it is being use). Then owner can keep the phone in their backpack or purse and use it through iPod, or attach them together.

  6. I got my rokr phone yesterday, and I really like it!
    It basically replaces my shuffle, which I gave to my newphew.
    I used it today in my car on the way to work and it sounds pretty dam good.
    I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I’m enjoying it, when a bigger and better iPod phone comes out I’ll replace the rokr, that simple.

  7. When the iPod mini came out, it was widely panned as costing too much, holding too few songs, etc. It went on to become the MOST POPULAR model of the very popular iPod. I do not want or need an iTunes Cell Phone but maybe you do. Just because the ‘experts’ and ‘analysts’ don’t like it doesn’t mean sh*t.

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