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Motorola readying new ROKR phone, plans Apple-style launches

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
News Categories: iTunes

Motorola plans to address criticisms of its poorly received iTunes-enabled ROKR phone with a new model. BusinessWeek reports that Motorola will introduce a revamped version of the ROKR in the first quarter of 2006.

“Expect a phone with a 1 megapixel camera, a 3.5 millimeter earphone jack (same as the iPod uses), and enough storage capacity to hold 1,000 songs—all capabilities Motorola has confirmed. The current phone’s basic design will be replaced by a sleek new look, which sources close to the company say will be an elegant slider format.”

In related news, Ron Garriques, head of Motorola’s mobile devices division, said that his company also plans to take a cue from Apple and begin selling headsets the day after introducing them instead of announcing them well in advance.

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Comments

1

Interesting, but I have to wonder—- will this next ROKR use iTunes at all?  To truly make it a “1,000” song ROKR, they’d need to either switch software or make Apple deviate from its 100 song software limit… something I’m doubtful they’re likely to do, as this could begin to put a dent in nano sales.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on November 16, 2005 at 8:42 AM (PDT)

2

need to either switch software or make Apple deviate from its 100 song software limit…something I’m doubtful they’re likely to do

Why not? Apple has to be mindful of the success of their partners as well, else they’ll be bounced from the mobile telephone marketplace before they’ve really had a chance to start. Neither Motorola or Cingular are going to keep going on with Apple going if they aren’t going to see any sort of financial reward coming out of it. So if greater capacity is warranted to make the product viable in the marketplace…one guess as to what’ll happen.

In addition, Moto’s problems with the current ROKR doesn’t exactly make Apple look all that good itself, since most iPod-saavy people believe that it was Apple who dictated the song capacity of the ROKR to begin with. If Apple isn’t going to go full force into the phone market, then consumers are going to wonder why bother, and that’s something Apple can ill-afford if they intend on expanding the iPod’s reach into other product types. If it costs Apple some lost 4GB nano sales…so be it; all of the partners have to be considering the bigger picture: the mobile phone marketplace.

But more than just fixing the ROKR, it seems to me that Moto needs to reconsider what it’s ultimately going to do with the iTunes RAZR as well. A sleek body only goes so far if it’s also knee-capped with limited capacity.

Posted by flatline response on November 16, 2005 at 9:40 AM (PDT)

3

Apple will not want to have phones replacing iPods, the ROKR is for iTunes, not an iPod phone to hold all of your songs.  Apple would lose iPod sales if a cell phone could hold as much as a nano.

Posted by jb on November 16, 2005 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

4

Isn’t the fact that most phones have prototypes posted on the FCC website going to give away the motorola phone designs prior to the day before going on sale?

Posted by me on November 16, 2005 at 9:06 PM (PDT)

5

Apple will not want to have phones replacing iPods, the ROKR is for iTunes, not an iPod phone to hold all of your songs.  Apple would lose iPod sales if a cell phone could hold as much as a nano.

And you have a crystal ball telling you this?  You’re forgetting that Apple sells the content as well as the hardware. And I would ALSO guess that someone in the market for a convergence phone IS NOT in the market for two or three separate pieces doing the same thing. So for that consumer, how is Apple really losing anything, since that person’s probably not interested in a stand-alone iPod to begin with?  If for example Nokia has their 4GB N91 phone available, then the only thing Apple is really losing out on is the lost music sales they could’ve had if the right high-cap Moto had been around in the first place.

If Apple denies Moto/Cingular such a device, then it stands to reason that Apple is losing out as well. They may not have made the hardware or did the hardware sale, but then again they probably never would’ve had anyways given what the buyer would’ve been looking for to begin with. But Apple does sell the music that such a Motorola/Cingular device could play, if only Moto has it in his inventory. If the consumer goes elsewhere (like to a WMA-friendly convergence phone), then it’s the competition that gets ALL the benefit.

THAT’S why Apple will ultimately approve of a high cap phone friendly with iTMS.

Posted by flatline response on November 17, 2005 at 2:35 AM (PDT)

6

look people, i think that apple would come to the realization that if they want to sell these new phones with apple, they will need to up them a lot.  If you think about it though,  it will not hurt the sales of the nanos because it will cost much more.  The camera and 4g hardrive will already make the price go up to atleast 400 dollars and most people can not pay that much for a cell phone.

Posted by unknown on November 20, 2005 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

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