Nikkei: Apple, Softbank plan iPod mobile phones

“Japanese Web and telecom conglomerate Softbank Corp. is working with Apple Computer Inc. to develop mobile telephones with built-in iPod music players, Nikkei reported on Friday. The music-playing phones can download songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun said in an article posted on its Web site,” Reuters reports.

“A spokesman for Apple in Cupertino, California, was not immediately available to comment,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.

Appleinsider reports that the phone(s) in question will be a 3G cell phone combining features of the iPod and Cell phone and is expected to be released in Japan “sometime this year at the earliest” and in the U.S. at a later date.

Full article here.

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38 Comments

  1. The Nekkei as in the Japaneese stock market? Interesting story to report on. Also interesting that Apple would choose the Aisen market – Apple’s lowest market share – to feature the new product/service.

  2. @me:

    I think they chose the Japanese market first because of the more advanced cellular/mobile infrastructure. It would be easier to take advantage of the high-speed mobile connection features in Japan rather than in the U.S.A.

  3. me: The Nikkei is a newspaper I believe, the Nikkei index is a stock index like the Dow Jones. I imagine they are the same company, much like in the UK the main stock indexi is the FTSE, where FT stands for Financial Times.

  4. ive always thought the waay to go would be to buy a small cellphone maker and then integrate them for their knowledge, i hope apple have a big say in this partnership

  5. Why would APPL release this phone only in Japan when the US market has been screaming for this. I would buy one in a minute…just make sure you stick with Cingular APPL. Or Else.

    Turano

  6. This story is interesting because Softbank is in the process of buying the Japanese arm of Vodafone (the world’s largest mobile phone company). Softbank is also partnered with Yahoo! Japan.

    Japan is a great market for Apple to work in. iPods are incredibly popular here, almost everyone has a mobile phone, and the cellular network in Japan is among the most advanced in the world.

    Softbank’s owner, Masayoshi Son, is a celebrity in Japan and is known for his forward, unconventional thinking. He and Steve Jobs might make a great duo in this project.

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