Cingular partnering with Apple to launch iTunes direct-to-phone music download service in 2006?

Reuters is reporting that Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, plans to “launch a service next year that will let users download music on their mobile phone, a senior executive said on Wednesday. The service would likely charge ‘slightly higher’ than what consumers pay for songs on [iTunes Music Store], the popular system run by iPod creator Apple Computer Inc., Ralph de la Vega, chief operating officer at Cingular, said on the sidelines of a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York.”

Reuters reports, “Details regarding how the service would be run were still being worked out, de la Vega said, adding that he hoped it could be done in partnership with Apple. Asked about demand for the ROKR, de la Vega said the company was making sales, but noted that ‘it takes a little while to build.'”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 4:23pm ET: Added info relating to possible partnership with Apple.]

Related articles:
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. It would be nice if the phone also had something like internet radio. While you’re listening to the radio, if you come across a song you like, you can just purchase it right there, immediately. No having to try figuring out and remembering the song or group. Instant gratification.

  2. Stupid. Why would I pay for it when I could hook the phone up to my iTunes and get it for cheaper?

    You can smuggle a candy bar into the movie theatre and dodge their ‘convenience’ pricing?

    Do you value convenience?

  3. The computer to device direction is only official. Many programs let you take songs off the ipod onto the computer, such as iPodRip. This saved my butt when I bought a new computer and thought I had backed up my songs but didn’t.

  4. Mike is saying is that there is convenient access to those things, for which you pay a premium (still wondering though, why ticketmaster pays a convenience fee even when you can’t get tix anywhere else).

    Eric, I wouldn’t buy a song this way. Also, I don’t believe there are enough people willing to shell out more than 10-20 cents extra per track just to have it a few hours sooner.

  5. Yes several points raised here by posters,

    Firstly PC Apologist, okay there’s your first problem, but that is for another place. As for the single route computer to device isn’t a cellphone a device, yes a different type of device but a device nonetheless?

    King_Alvarez, yes services like Live365 would develop a player to work on a cellphone, both Windows Mobile *shudders* and Palm as Live365 already have computer based clients for both Windows *shudders again* and Macintosh *feels better*.

    With the possibility of paying to download music tracks on a cellphone at a higher price as mentioned in the above article obviously Cingular wish to get in on all the action if dumb ringtones aren’t enough to annoy everyone else around you when a call comes in. This migt also appease those greedy record companies until they realise, too late, that the profit margin isn’t that much greater on iTMS and continue to whine and complain.

    Perhaps Cingular are trying to attract another type of device user, maybe as pointed out for convenience purposes only. If you are on the road far away from a wireless hotspot.

    Yes PDA’s come to my mind, a Palm 350 for instance, the Live365 for Palm to access internet radio and removable storage media for your music along with a Cingular cellphone service. Email can be done via the myriad of Palm based mail clients already out there as are web browsers. iTMS via Cingular onto a PDA.

    I hope Apple do agree to partner with Cingular on this, the number one cellphone provider meets the number one music download service, including the ROKR as a very basic introduction to the concept.

    I can certainly see that in further reference to hotspots your own cellphone becomes your own personal hotspot that you carry with you, so where ever there’s a cellphone signal, yes signal strength verses battery life will be an issue, that’ll be your access point for not only making a call but listening and downloading music including streaming services like Live365.

    MW: ‘did’ as in Cingular did this with Apple in mind for a far bigger concept beyond what the ROKR was thought of as doing in the first place.

  6. Mike, There is nothing “convenient” about theatre prices!!! I

    Uh, yes there is.. the fact that the concession is right inside the theatre.


    Same reason milk costs twice as much at the corner store as it does at a real Grocery Store.

    Obviously higher prices aren’t convenient.. you are willing to pay a higher price because it’s convenient.

  7. People pay for cell phones when they could plunk a quarter into a pay-phone, or wait a few minutes until they’re back at home or the office.

    Why do people fall for it???

    Yes, it’s called connivence. Having a discussion about music then downloading the appropriate song is somewhat — fun.

  8. I for one would find this occasionally very useful – and it’s a deal-breaker for me on any iTunes cell phone if it doesn’t have it (and I was disappointed that ROKR didn’t).

    Why? Simple. I work as a DJ. There are times when I need a song and I’m at an event. Solution? None, really, unless there’s a hotspot nearby. (Not very likely.)

    Now with my cell phone, I would gladly pay $2 to download the song to my phone and be able to play it right there. That’s convenience pricing. It would definitely be handy.

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