Analyst: Family of iTunes phones due by Christmas

BusinessWeek reports that Apple and Motorola will roll out an entire range of iTunes-compatible mobile phones this year. Citing a recent research note by RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue, the magazine said the family of phones will range from low end to high end and will be available before Christmas. Sue said the first phone will be announced within a month and will be marketed by Cingular.

“All parties involved—Motorola, Cingular, and, perhaps most of all, Apple—have much to gain from the hookup,” says BusinessWeek. “The move could help them take the pole position in a promising new market—delivering digital music to cell phones, a device that has become the center of the digital lifestyle for millions of people around the world.”

The BusinessWeek report says that Cingular could get a short-term exclusive right to iTunes. “The carrier also will likely get a share of revenues from music downloads, which will, at least at first, be done the old way: Users will download a song onto their computers and then move it onto their iTunes phones. Eventually, should Cingular unveil a service for wireless downloads direct to a cell phone, it might get a larger share of the revenues or keep any premium charged for the on-the-go service.”

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