Apple to Make Music Player for Motorola Phones

By | July 26, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Apple Computer Inc. will make a slimmed-down version of its iTunes jukebox software that No. 2 cell phone maker Motorola Inc. will install on some wireless phones it will start selling in the first half of 2005, the companies said on Monday.

The world’s second-largest cell phone maker also introduced seven new wireless telephones that will be available in the second half of the year, including products aimed at helping corporate customers cut costs.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs made the announcement via video conference at an event the night before Motorola’s annual analyst meeting in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois.

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a dozen of your favorite songs with you on your phone,” Jobs said. “We thought it would be great if together Motorola and Apple could give them (consumers) a small taste of what this digital music revolution is about.”

Before Jobs appeared on screen, Motorola Chief Executive Edward Zander, holding up a Motorola cell phone and an Apple iPod digital music player, quipped: “It would be great if we could just figure out a way to bring these two devices together.”

Apple has sold more than 4 million of its market-leading iPod digital music players and sold more than 100 million tracks on its iTunes online music store since it was launched last April.

Jobs also said that Mac or Windows PC users will be able to transfer songs from the iTunes digital jukebox software or from the iTunes online music store, which is integrated into the iTunes software, to Motorola cell phones.

MOBILE OFFICE TECHNOLOGY

Industry forecasts call for 1.5 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of this year, representing a sizable opportunity for Cupertino, California-based Apple.

Motorola also rolled out its CN620 “mobile office device.” It ties together short-range, high-speed wireless (also known as WiFi) and cellular technologies in a single device for access to voice and data networks both inside and outside the office, the company said at an evening event.

The “mobile office device,” developed in collaboration with Avaya Inc.’s Internet telephony software and Proxim Corp.’s wireless local area network gear, is a step in that direction, company officials said.

The product and related software are in customer trials in three locations, as well as Motorola, Avaya and Proxim corporate offices, and commercial availability is expected later this year.

Motorola’s “mobile office device” connects to a company’s internal Internet-based telephone network through a wireless local area network. Other software allows customers to walk outside a company office and have calls seamlessly switch from the internal network to the cellular operator’s network.

Cost savings will come from more efficient routing of calls and the elimination of devices, because the need for an office phone and a wireless phone is replaced by the single device, Motorola said. Savings also will come from increased productivity as employees have only one phone number and one voice mail account to check.

Another new phone Motorola displayed was the sleek RAZR V3, a metal-clad GSM flip phone that includes an integrated digital camera, color screen and a chemically etched keypad created from a single sheet of nickel-plated copper alloy. It is slightly larger than a half-inch thick, as wide as a credit card and weighs less than 3.5 ounces.

The handset, which will be sold as a high-end model, will debut in Asia and Europe in the fall and hit the U.S. market in the fourth quarter.

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