Apple Computer and Motorola plan to introduce a phone next week that runs Apple's iTunes music software, according to an analyst briefed...
Apple Computer and Motorola plan to introduce a phone next week that runs Apple’s iTunes music software, according to an analyst briefed by industry officials.
Cingular Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, will offer the phone exclusively, said Roger Entner an analyst with researcher Ovum in Boston. The device will be announced at an event hosted by Apple in San Francisco on Sept. 7, he said.
The phone, in production for more than a year, will capitalize on demand for Apple’s iPod, the biggest-selling digital music player. The device may also help popularize iTunes, which is facing competition from Microsoft and Yahoo. Cingular, with 51.6 million subscribers, will get a chance to woo new users and bolster revenue from music downloads.
“It’s a huge deal because the premier mobile music player is coming to the wireless industry,” said Entner, who said he was briefed on the release by an industry executive.
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Cingular spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment.
Jennifer Weyrauch, a spokeswoman for Motorola, the No. 2 cellphone maker, declined to comment. Motorola Chief Executive Ed Zander said last month the phone would be released in September. Apple does not comment on rumor or speculation, said spokesman Steve Dowling.
Shares of Apple, which made its name selling Macintosh computers, rose 73 cents to $46.57 yesterday. They have surged 45 percent this year after tripling in 2004. Motorola rose 67 cents to $21.92 yesterday and has gained 27 percent this year.
“The Holy Grail is music downloads,” said IDC analyst Lewis Ward.
Phone users will be able to transfer songs from their personal computers as well as buy songs from the iTunes site, Apple and Motorola said in July 2004. Apple sells songs for 99 cents each on computers. Downloads will probably cost more on phones, as much as $2.75 a song, Ward said.