Motorola CEO Zander: Apple to build a smart phone, it’s only a matter of time

“Motorola CEO Ed Zander on Thursday downplayed disparaging remarks he made last week about Apple Computer’s newest music player and predicted that the Mac maker will build its own cell phone,” Mike Ricciuti reports for CNET News. “Zander said his comments about the Nano were ‘taken completely out of context. We have a great relationship with Apple. I’ve known Steve Jobs for 15 years. Sure, there is some tension there. We have the Rokr, and they have the Nano. They are a competitor as well as a partner.'”

Ricciuti reports, “He also added fuel to persistent speculation about Apple’s interest in producing its own phone. ‘And we know that they are going to build a smart phone–it’s only a matter of time.'”

Full article here.
As we’ve said many times, Apple would be making a stupid mistake if they weren’t working on an Apple-branded “iPhone.” We think there’s a good chance they’ll continue to pooh-pooh the idea right up until the day they release it. Why give potential competitors any ideas, right?

As we wrote on Tuesday, “The ‘Apple iPhone’ as an iPod accessory would work best. When the two are married, the screen and battery (all or some of the power) come from the iPod and the phone necessities (buttons, internals) are in the ‘iPhone’ unit that the iPod slips into or that slips onto the iPod. Perhaps the iPhone doesn’t even work without an iPod. There are many ways to approach this and, like Jobs’ initial comments that putting an iMac behind a screen wasn’t the best solution and then later debuting the iMac G5, we hope Apple’s just diverting competitors’ attention while working hard on ideas.”

Related articles:
Apple iPod division head: iPod and mobile phones best left separate – September 27, 2005
If Apple isn’t working on their own iPhone, they’re making a stupid mistake – September 12, 2005
Does Apple need a mobile phone of its own design? – September 09, 2005

Motorola says ‘screw nano’ comment was joke – September 26, 2005
Motorola CEO Ed Zander on Apple iPod nano: ‘Screw the nano’ – September 26, 2005

Fortune’s Lewis: Apple iTunes software the only cute thing about Motorola’s ROKR mobile phone – September 21, 2005
Consumer Reports: Apple’s iPod nano ‘sizzles,’ Motorola ROKR mobile phone ‘fizzles’ – September 21, 2005
BBC: Motorola ROKR iTunes mobile phone design ‘feels like yesterday’s phone by UK standards’ – September 17, 2005
Hands on review of Motorola ROKR Apple iTunes mobile phone – September 12, 2005
Motorola ROKR iTunes-enabled mobile phone greeted with cool response – September 12, 2005
Music phones pose no threat to Apple iPod – 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. Zander: “I’ve known Steve for 15 years…”

    I’ll bet. Maybe the following phone conversations took place-

    Steve: “Ed, where the fsck are my updated processors??!!??”
    Ed: “Steve, don’t worry, I’m making this amazing phone…”

  2. Most people don’t care to have their iPod combined with their cell phone. The ROKR will be a bomb as much for that reason as for the fact that it also happens to be a P.O.S. Apple should save their money and energy for something else and not waste it on creating an iPhone.

  3. I’m telling you no one wants an iPod + phone, you go to make a call and your battery is dead…unless it has a very very slick UI… like never seen before…plus some kind of solar battery or something…well just maybe Apple could pull it off..we’ll see…MS Mobil 5 is a POS…can’t wait for all the viruses to hit it. What is Palm thinking…or is their swan song?

  4. First inclinations…

    >and, like Jobs’ initial comments that putting an iMac behind a screen >wasn’t the best solution and then later debuting the iMac G5

    Steve Jobs was right with his initial comment. The iMac G5 is ABSOLUTELY the most unreliable, problematic Apple computer we have EVER purchased (we own 12 of them, 3 first gens and 9 second gens). The first gens were so bad, we had to put a freeze on Mac purchases, which was real hard after months of not being able to buy a new G4 iMac (G4 iMacs have been almost problem free, we replaced a hard drive last week on one that was 3 years old). Apple’s solution was for us to buy AppleCare on all of the machines (yes, they did give us a minor discount).

    My only guess as to the reason more people aren’t screaming about these machines is that consumers tend to turn their machines off after a few hours of use. As a business, we run our machines 24 hours a day and these iMac G5’s run extremely hot, which is not good for their long term durability. Two of our 3 first gens have already been in for repair twice. Three of our 2nd gens have failed (the 2nd gens seem to be slightly more reliable, but they still run too hot).

    Maybe Steve’s first inclination was right after all! Although, I’d still like to see an Apple phone! Sorry for going off topic!

    Sign me
    Frustrated in SF

  5. Synthmeister: “I just want a cellphone that has a well designed OS—and no one besides Apple seems to understand how to create an elegant OS for anything.”

    I agree with you. I want a mobile with an OS and navigation controls which don’t suck or befuddle. After reading the enormous user manual for my SE T610 and going through every control on the phone, I still can’t find where I set it to ring for more than 5 seconds! Consequently, I miss half my incoming calls.

    Also the jokes about the Newton’s handwriting recognition could well be applied to the pre-emptive text imput of today’s phones.

  6. God – if Apple was to build their own iPhone [complete with a build in iPod/PDA & Camera] I would be lined up at the nearest Apple store to pick up my personal copy complete with engraving! Steve lets get this project going and on the shelves by spring at the latest!

  7. Apple is soooo ripe for an IP based phone it hurts. Make it an ipChatAV phone. Screw ALL the “cell” companies, do a FULL END RUN. Release some type of WiMax device once the Intel based Macs are available, then pull a Rabbit out of a Hat, saying, oh, by the way… if you also have the new iPhode, you can do realtime, worldwide Video and Voice to any other Intel Mac with a WiMax connection and a iPhode. Cell companies would freak, Apple stock up x26, everyone is happy. OSX has ALL the tools to make this happen, all we need is WiMax and the iPhode.

  8. Sheesh, Apple is missing out on the friggin mobile market.

    Where’s mobile Darwin / Mobile X ??????????

    Palm just went over to Microsoft, so world just lost it’s “mac-like” mobile operating system.

    Since smartphones have the capabilities now of limited laptops,


    SJobs said that he was so interested in mobile computing that he nearly missed out on the MP3 player market. I fear he’s doing the same with mobile computing.

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