HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - Motorola said on Thursday it is working
on several mobile phones that are compatible with Apple's iTunes music
service and some of which can store eight hours of songs.
One model, the E790, was initially scheduled for a European launch
this summer, but that introduction has been delayed after discussions
with operators, Motorola said at the fringes of CeBIT, the world's
biggest electronics fair here.
The model is a surprise as it was originally planned ahead of the
ROKR, which is also a music phone with iTunes and which Motorola has
banged the drum about, but has not yet shown.
The ROKR is expected to be unveiled later this month at a music event
Rival Sony Ericsson showed its first phone with a built-in Sony
Walkman last week.
"Over the course of the year, you'll see more (iTunes) devices," said
Alberto Moriondo, Motorola's global director of entertainment for
Major handset makers have started collaborating with online digital
music stores. Sony Ericsson said its first Walkman phone will be on
the market around August or September. Nokia which said it will use
Microsoft's music technology alongside other standards, has yet to
unveil a dedicated music phone.
Motorola hopes to benefit from its association with Apple, which makes
the world's most popular digital player iPod and runs the world's most
popular music store, iTunes Music Store.
"The Walkman for the 21st century is the Apple brand," Moriondo said.
The fact that some iTunes phones can store eight hours of music or
more is different from initial announcements last year that Motorola
phones would only carry a small number of songs. Motorola's E790
handset will work on second-generation mobile networks, and not the
faster, third-generation (3G) systems.
Motorola at CeBIT also unveiled two more phones for third-generation
networks, one medium-priced flip phone model and a slightly
higher-priced handset which has taken some design features from the
popular RAZR model.
The Schaumberg, Illinois-based company has said it will launch 16
handsets for 3G networks this year.
Motorola also introduced new flip phone handsets for the entry-level
segment of the market, to be available in the second half of 2005.
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