The Telegraph
 
 
ARCHIVES
Since 1st March, 1999
 
THE TELEGRAPH
 
 
Email This Page
Time to talk and tune in

San Francisco, Aug. 30: Apple Computer and Motorola plan to unveil a long-awaited mobile phone and music player next week that will incorporate Apple’s iTunes software, a telecommunications industry analyst who has been briefed on the announcement said yesterday.

The development marks a melding of two of the digital era’s most popular devices, the cellphone and the iPod, which has become largely synonymous with the concept of downloading songs from the Internet or transferring them from compact discs.

Roger Entner, a telecommunications analyst with Ovum, a market research firm, said he had been told by an industry executive that the new phone, to be made by Motorola, would include iTunes software, which helps power the iPod.

The software will allow people to transfer songs from a personal computer to the mobile phone, then listen to the songs, presumably through headphones. “It’s a deluxe music player now on your cellphone,” he said of the device.

Apple, Motorola and Cingular declined to confirm or deny the report. But Apple did announce yesterday that it would hold a major news event on September 7 in San Francisco that it indicated was music-related. Apple is routinely tight-lipped about pending product announcements, preferring to make a splash on the day of the event.

The plans outlined for an Apple phone are consistent with recent announcements by Motorola, which said in July 2004 that it planned to develop a device that would include the iTunes software.

Jennifer Weyrauch, a spokeswoman for Motorola, declined to comment on Apple’s announcement plans for next week. Weyrauch did say, generally speaking, that when Motorola unveiled a phone equipped with iTunes software, it would be a part of a line of music-oriented phones that the company calls Rokr.

The latest development is in many ways a natural evolution for mobile phones, which increasingly act as small computers with varied functions, like taking pictures and sending and receiving e-mail. Some phones already double as portable music players.

It was not clear whether the iTunes phone would allow users to download songs directly from the Internet onto the phone, though music industry analysts said they doubted that such a capability would be immediately available.

Top
Email This Page