Report: Motorola ROKR sales disappointing

“Motorola’s much-ballyhooed Rokr music phone–a joint venture with Apple Computer–has posted disappointing sales since hitting store shelves almost a month ago, says a report issued Tuesday by a stock brokerage,” Mike Hughlett reports for The Chicago Tribune. “The Rokr is the first of a line of Motorola phones that allows users to download music from Apple’s popular iTunes Web site, where songs cost 99 cents. The phone is the first iTunes-compatible portable music player, aside from Apple’s mega-selling iPod.”

“Stock analyst Mike Walkley at Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. found ‘mixed to negative reviews of the much anticipated Rokr phone’ in his monthly survey of phone retailers, which was released Tuesday,” Hughlett reports. “Some stores noted strong early sales of the Rokr, but more stores were ‘indicating disappointment in the product,’ Walkley wrote in a research note. He surveys more than 100 stores in major U.S. cities. Walkley said weak Rokr sales in the near term shouldn’t hurt Motorola’s earnings. He and other analysts see music phones as a long-term opportunity, and they expect many different models from Schaumburg-based Motorola.”

Hughlett reports, “Motorola declined to release sales data on the inaugural iTunes phone, saying the company is in a ‘quiet period’ before releasing its third-quarter earnings. However, Motorola spokeswoman Monica Rohleder said Tuesday, ‘We are very excited about the product.’ Atlanta-based Cingular also declined to divulge sales figures. But Jennifer Bowcock, a Cingular spokeswoman, said the company was ‘pleased’ with the Rokr’s launch and that nationally, sales were meeting expectations… Retailers surveyed by Walkley cited ‘form factor’ as one reason behind disappointing sales. That’s industry talk for a how a cell phone looks and feels. ‘The first Rokr just doesn’t have that ‘coolness’ factor,’ Walkley said.”

Full article here.

Advertisement: Apple iPod nano. 1,000 songs. Impossibly small. From $199. Free shipping.
Big surprise.

Related articles:
How Apple’s Steve Jobs snookered the entire cell phone industry – October 03, 2005
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 CEO Zander: Apple to build a smart phone, it’s only a matter of time – September 29, 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. The problem is not the phone , but the carrier. And it the first phone that plays Itune. I was going to to buy one, but I got the razor instead and waiting on the new IPods with videos. It still a good Idea but bad timing.

  2. Here in the UK the ROKR is free with a contract but just looks too large and ugly alongside the latest offerings from Sony Ericsson. I don’t know a single person who has chosen a ROKR. The Sony Ericsson K750 and W800 are often sold out, while the ROKR is still available even when offered with a free Bluetooth headset.

  3. The RAZR2 coming in the spring will also feature iTunes, but won’t be as awkward or clunky as the ROKR.

    Now if Verizon will just sell the damned thing without the cool features disabled. I’d really love to have a phone I can sync with my address book.

  4. The ROKR seems to be an ill-planned experiment. If Moto were serious about it, they could at the very least make it LOOK nice. It’s as if they dug in their parts bins and came up with a reject design from the 90s. The RAZR is not such a great phone either but at least it looks cool. If the ROKR looks half as good as the RAZR, maybe they get enough people to try it. Most people nowadays wouldn’t be caught dead with a relic like the ROKR.

    MW: why. Why did Motorola bother with this “design”.

  5. when the iTunes RAZR comes out, THEN the ROKR idea will work, until then, sales for iTunes phones will be low. Part of the iPods success is it’s beauty, most of the RAZR’s success is it’s beauty. An iTunes RAZR will be sucsessfull.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.