TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Music-Playing Cellphones Hit a Flat Note

Music-Playing Cellphones Hit a Flat Note

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 18 Sep 2005 23:10:09 -0400


After months of anticipation, Apple Computer last week finally
unveiled the first cellphone that combines elements of its hot-selling
iPod music players. The $250 phone, called the ROKR, was designed and
made by Motorola; is being sold by Cingular; and contains special
iPod-like music-playback software created by Apple.

But Apple is strangely unenthusiastic about it. Apple's heavily
trafficked Web home page relegated the new phone to a small box
underneath a giant photo touting its newest music player, the iPod
nano. By contrast, the Motorola and Cingular home pages were dominated
by the new music phone.

After a week or so of testing the ROKR, along with a couple of
competing music phones, my assistant Katie Boehret and I share Apple's
indifference. As a music player, the Motorola ROKR is OK, as are the
two other music phones we tested. But none of them approaches either
the style or the functionality of the iPod, and none lives up to the
full potential of what a combined cellphone and music player could be.

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