Motorola's iTunes phone - a fact worth noting

by Giles Turnbull

Amid the speculation, rumor-spreading, rumor-controlling and rumor-squishing prior to next week's big MacWorld thing, it's nice to have a bit of solid, exciting news for Man fans.

Motorola says it will soon be offering the world a phone that plays music, talks to iTunes, and offers an iPod-like interface for navigating through it all.

Yep, an iPodPhone. Well, pretty much.

It's a phone. It works quite a lot like an iPod. You can, you know, carry your music around with you. Sounds kinda neat.

Amid all the feverish chatter about headless Macs and fantastic new word processors, the best thing about this little update is fact that, somewhat eclipsed as it is by all the MacWorld madness, it's a genuine bit of innovation. And with the support and backing it gets from Apple, it will be an attractive purchase for computer owners who have purchased songs from the iTunes Music Store.

Notice I said "computer owners" there. There's still a lot of details lacking, so we haven't yet been told if it will be Mac only, or work with Windows PCs as well. After all, iTunes works on Windows too.

The upshot of which seems to me to put quite a hole in the case brought by Thomas Slattery against Apple this week. Slattery contends that Apple broke antitrust laws by tying its Digital Rights Management system (called FairPlay) to the iPod. By forcing him to buy an iPod to carry his music around, the company was "denying consumer choice".

Well, not any more. Mr Slattery may well want to keep an eye open for Motorola's new device, and perhaps some other iTMS-compatible gadgets that might pop into the limelight in the next 12 months or so. He might find he has more choice than he previously thought.


2005-01-08 01:09:02
An idea
Wouldn't it be cool if you could purchase songs from the iTMS and download them to the phone directly?
2005-01-09 08:11:56
An idea
Depends on what you mean by 'direct'. If you mean direct over your phone company's very expensive airwaves, then 'No', that wouldn't be cool. If you mean 'direct' from your computer via free bluetooth or some other wireless method, then 'Yes' that would be cool. Or some wired method, I guess.