AT&T Wireless (Cingular) teams with Napster

“Napster on Wednesday said that Napster to Go, its fledgling portable music service, is now available to AT&T Wireless subscribers who use the Audiovox SMT5600 smart phone,” CNET reports.

CNET reports, “The service lets customers download an unlimited number of songs for $14.95 monthly… The version of the service announced Wednesday is apparently also a prerelease version; the company says the service will ‘officially debut’ with the release of Napster 3.0, probably later this year. At that time, the service will be available to a wider audience.”

“The SMT5600 smart phone, which supports Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, is capable of holding up to six songs. (It has a flash memory capacity of 28.5MB.)”

MacDailyNews Note: “Six songs” is not a typo; it really is six (6). Hey, quit laughing! No, really, there’s more…

CNET continues, “With an additional memory chip of 128MB or 256MB, the handset’s capacity can be further enhanced to allow for two or four hours of songs, respectively. The SMT5600, which weighs about 3.6 ounces, is available through AT&T Wireless for $149.99 after rebates with a two-year voice and data service contract.”

Full article here.
Well, this changes everything! No need to wait 60-something days for an Apple iPhone when we can have this amazing device and thriving music service today, right?

And, no, AT&T Wireless should not be faulted for wanting to provide a “soup kitchen” option for their customers who can’t stomach five star cuisine, but we’d hate to see people bet $149.99 (for six songs, or more cash for 24 or even 48 whole songs) plus $179.40/year for the Napster subscription on the odd chance that Napster will even be around at the end of the AT&T contract. By the time you buy the junky Audiovox phone with its massive “half CD-capacity” and pay $14.95/month to Napster for two years, you’ll have spent $508.79, or $9.79 more than a 4GB Apple iPhone.

[UPDATE: 4:35pm EDT: In a press release issued today, AT&T Inc. and Napster announced a new offer that gives customers free unlimited access for one year to Napster To Go allowing consumers to customize playlists on their PC and transfer favorite tunes to compatible wireless phones and music devices [no Macs, no iPods]. Full press release here. MacDailyNews Take: Yawn.]

Related articles:
How Steve Jobs played hardball in iPhone deal with AT&T (Cingular) – February 17, 2007
AT&T to phase out Cingular name in rebranding move – January 12, 2007
Apple chooses Cingular as exclusive US carrier for iPhone – January 09, 2007

Beleaguered Napster preps for takeover – February 13, 2007
Beleaguered Napster’s CEO Gorog calls Apple’s iPod, iTunes Store ‘anti-consumer’ – January 31, 2007
Beleaguered Napster hires UBS to evaluate possible company sale – September 18, 2006
Beleaguered Napster circles bowl, subscribers drop 7 percent, Gorog won’t rule out sale of company – August 03, 2006
Free, legal and ignored: Mac- and iPod-incompatible beleaguered Napster dying at colleges – July 06, 2006Napster CEO Gorog blames Microsoft for failure to compete with Apple’s iTunes Music Store – March 01, 2006
Napster CEO Chris Gorog has ‘secret plan’ to help beleaguered company become profitable – February 09, 2006
Google: no interest in Napster, no plans to develop music store at this time – January 31, 2006
Napster does the math: layoffs commence with 10-percent of workforce lopped off – January 25, 2006
EMI Music Chairman: Music subscription services like Napster and Rhapsody haven’t beeen huge – January 23, 2006
Napster CEO Gorog: ‘we are extremely excited about the future’ – January 18, 2006
Report: Napster executives do the math, consider selling or shutting down, layoffs imminent – January 16, 2006
Napster CEO Gorog: Apple iPod is a ‘villain’ – December 12, 2005
Do the math: Napster posts $13.6 million second-quarter loss – November 02, 2005
Napster President: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has ‘tricked people into buying a hardware trap’ – August 22, 2005
Apple’s roadkill whine in unison: ‘incompatibility is slowing growth of digital music’ – August 12, 2005
Napster: the only thing missing is the sock puppet – August 04, 2005
Napster, other Windows Media-based music services ‘chasing a niche opportunity’ – June 29, 2005
SmartMoney: Napster is a snooze, gushing money and renting music is un-American anyway – July 06, 2005
Napster To Go Soon? Reports $24.3 million net loss on $17.4 million net revenue – May 11, 2005
Napster is a joke – April 05, 2005
Napster CEO Gorog: Steve Jobs ‘must be pretty frightened’ of Napster To Go – March 14, 2005
Napster’s math does not add up – February 28, 2005
Users thwart Napster To Go’s copy protection; do the music labels realize the piracy potential? – February 15, 2005
Napster CEO Gorog: ‘it’s stupid to buy an iPod’ – February 10, 2005
$10,000 to fill an iPod? Napster’s going to end up with egg on their face – February 04, 2005
Why ‘Napster To Go’ will flop – February 03, 2005
Napster CEO: We’re ‘the biggest brand in digital music, much more exciting than Apple’s iTunes’ – February 03, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004
Napster CEO: ‘it would be great’ if Apple iPod supported WMA – March 09, 2004
Napster CEO: Apple iTunes, iPod ‘consumer-unfriendly experiences’ – March 09, 2004
Napster 2.0 posts US$15 million relaunch loss – February 08, 2004


  1. There’s a mistake in this article. It says the phone ‘is capable of holding up to six songs’! That can’t be right – nobody would put anything that pathetic on the market. It’s supposed to say 600 songs, isn’t it? Or at least 60?

  2. “Audiovox holds six songs. iPhone hold six movies.

    Decisions… decisions…”

    Yes it is difficult indeed. Do I want to go home relax on the couch and watch 6 movies on the 60″, or do I want to watch them on my telephone!

    I bet most of the world is having a difficult time with that one!

  3. What the @$%&!! The same parent company coming out with iPhone?

    I don’t know why I act so surprised… I’ve said all along that Cingular/ATT are not going to lift a finger to actually sell the iPhone to any of it’s customers, in fact, you can almost go to the bank on the fact that they will actually go out of their way to not sell – Best Buy juniors. Jeepers.

    What’s our business strategy? Get a great new cutting edge top-of-the-line piece of prosumer technology and treat it like every other clone bone that we’ve got on our shelves.

    Somebody put me out of my misery.

    On the bright side, the last I heard Apple is going to be sure their phones get sold by offering them in Apple stores. If you want something done right then…

  4. Al, I would like to see you take that 60 on the plane with you like I did to Amsterdam a few weeks ago. My iPod allowed me to watch good movies rather than the crap they were showing on the flight. We are talking about portable devices here, not your plasma TV. Thanks for playing, tho…

  5. Gee, AT&T wants to be as profitable as possible? Shocking!

    This will go no where, but it does give a clearer picture of the business dynamic Apple is moving in to.

  6. Can you imagine walking into an AT&T store in June for an iPhone only to have the sales person try to pitch you the latest plastic crap clone as well? Or worse if iPhones are out of stock and they try to sell you a RAZR as the next best alternative?

    It’s precisely for this reason that I will not purchase an iPhone from a AT&T store. The perfect iPhone experience requires as little contact with AT&T as possible.

  7. PC Apologist…
    I was thinking the same thing. But take the 9.xx more it cost for the service over two years and buy 9 iTunes songs… then compare at 2 years 1 month and see who has more. The iPhone will at least have 9 songs you OWN. I hate renting things I use often, and music is one of them.

    If rental was right for everything… then why don’t we all take our cars back to the dealer and start renting cars! Music and cars go together, and they also should be things that are bought, not rented or leased for long term use.

    The Dude abides.

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