Uh oh, Apple: Patrón billionaire takes aim at Apple and Spotify with tempting, new ‘ROK Mobile’ streaming service

“John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire entrepreneur behind Paul Mitchell shampoo and Patron tequila is jumping into the wireless phone business,” Steven Bertoni reports for Forbes.

“His new company ROK Mobile (cofounded with British entrepreneur Johnathan Kendrick) is offering unlimited talk, text and data with an added sweetener of free music streaming,” Bertoni reports. “ROK Mobile is contract free and will cost $49.99 a month. DeJoria has inked music deals with Warner Music, Sony and Universal, giving users more than 20 million songs. Says DeJoria, ‘Everything you can find on iTunes, we have.'”

“ROK Mobile has no fixed infrastructure and runs on the rails of larger carriers – ROK launches on T-Mobile on June 16th and on Sprint on July 4th,” Bertoni reports. “A few weeks ago Apple shocked the tech world by purchasing Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovines’ Beats Music for $3 billion. Beats offers a streaming music service via AT&T. Meanwhile in April Swedish music company Spotify (now with more than 10 million paying customers) partnered with Sprint to power its music offerings. ‘I wish everybody well,’ says DeJoria. ‘But if you look at $49.99 a month, all inclusive we have something different — all the music you want and no contract—zero.'”

“Like Beats and Spotify, ROK Mobile lets you build playlists and create Pandora-like radio stations,” Bertoni reports. “ROK’s music app is not confined to just your smartphone and can be used on desktops, tablets and TVs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tempting – aside from the lesser carriers (we’d more strongly consider it if also offered choices of Verizon and/or AT&T).

If they want to continue to dominate in music sales and hope to dominate in streaming music, Apple had better have a damn good answer to this. Even at full price for each iPhone, $49.99/mo. is less than we’re paying for Verizon’s capped shared data plan and ROK Mobile delivers unlimited talk/text/data, no contract, and comes with 20+ million songs that also play on your Macs, iPads, and TVs!

24 Comments

  1. I agree with the MDN take about the smaller carriers. I switched to T-Mobile last year for one day after buying my new phone outside of a plan but returned to AT&T because of substandard cellular coverage in my area.

    1. Yes, coverage would be one factor; the other factor would be network reliability/quality specially for voice communication, given it travels on the rails of other carriers network and who knows how good/bad it can get.

      On another note,

      “Apple had better have a damn good answer to this”

      Apple’s business strategy very rarely is “having good answers to this” whatever that “this” is, other companies come out with.

  2. Somehow I don’t see a virtually unknown provider sucking up market share without a track record, and the same songs as everyone else, because the price isn’t tht much better than T-mobile near as I can tell.

  3. I pay Cricket $45 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data. My plan runs on AT&T’s network, albeit with data speeds capped at 10Mb/sec. I’ve been extremely happy and have saved a bundle since signing up 8 months ago.

  4. interesting. apple has always been able to make money and typically get people to pay more because they historically have offered a better service. however, in this case, apple doesn’t. spotify is clearly the premium service and people have shown they are willing to pay for it. i get why apple got into streaming…they had to. i’m not sure it will ever be a competitor to spotify and if more of these loss leaders keep coming out, it will saturate all the profits in the field….

    1. Not sure that anyone has the potential for loss leading than Apple, even if it is not traditionally in its DNA. However if iTunes income from music keeps shrinking that will be a serious option, if only they can be bothered to pull their fingers from their anus. Baffles me that a company that is so good at predicting the future can be so bad at seeing the damn obvious at times. But then maybe its creating rather than predicting the future it is primarily good at.

    1. That is my choice as well.

      I prefer to own my music and I prefer higher quality audio or as high as I can get. I didn’t spend thousands on HiFi audio equipment to listen to crap bit rate songs.
      I just helped a teenager put in a smoke’n stereo on his car. Unfortunately his phone is full of stolen music from the internet. When he played it in his car it sounded like shit. I plugged in my phone and he was amazed at the sounds difference. I told him to stop stealing music and it was a waste to put in the nice system only to run crap through it. Who knows if he’ll change, he’s young and didn’t live through the great 70’s-80’s when reel-to-reel and LP’s was the bomb.
      I do like to use iTunes radio (classic Rock DJ Mix) on my iPad in my iHome at times. Nothing like a little Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Deep Purple and Van Morrison to start my days. haha

      1. lol, I have a Pioneer surround with a powered Sony subwoofer that’ll blow your prostate out…I live across the street from a church, for fun on Sunday mornings I like to open the windows and crank-up LZ’s “The Lemon Song.” hee. hee.

        1. Regardless of your feelings about those folks and their church, or Zeppelin for that matter, you are engaging in an act which is denying someone their civil liberties.

          Maybe they should stop over at your house and douse you with waster when you’re sleeping. You are a pathetic creep.

        2. I’ve got a pair of 4′ Klipsch corner horns pumping some serious old school analog from a Classic MacIntosh receiver. I can get it just passed half way before I start blowing seals out of my windows. Neighbor’s?! Hell, it shakes their house. I live on a lake in Washington and I can supply music to every house on the lake. When I have parties, I have to invite everyone or the cops show up. Haha

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