Mobile iTunes

Motorola and Apple have got together to produce an iTunes compatible phone. Phone users will be able to connect their phone to their computer using a USB cable or Bluetooth connection (hope you’re not in a rush then) and transfer songs to their mobile. The new iTunes application will be the standard music player on Motorola music phones.

This makes a lot of sense because of the popularity and installed base of iTunes, plus the proven security model of the FairPlay DRM implementation.

The mobile iTunes application won’t feature the Music Store for a while, so users will not be able to buy or preview music from Apple’s online shop. Given network bandwidth limitations, this is probably a good thing.

The first handsets with iTunes will be available next year. Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said: “The mobile phone market – with 1.5 billion subscribers expected worldwide by the end of 2004 – is a phenomenal opportunity to get iTunes in the hands of even more music lovers around the world.”

Will iPod sales be lost if consumers decide that they don’t need an Apple player but decide to use their Motorola phone? Or will exposure to the iTunes application and store encourage more people to go out and buy an iPod?


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?