updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu June 30, 2005
iTunes phone family
One analyst believes that Apple and Motorola along with Cingular will by the end of the year. The first phone in the new product family, which it says will include both low-end and high-end phones, will be formally announced by the third week in July, according to a BusinessWeek report that cites RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue: "All parties involved -- Motorola, Cingular, and, perhaps most of all, Apple -- have much to gain from the hookup. 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.... Currently, the three companies are seen as laggards in this market."
The report says that music-enabled cell phones offer a huge opportunity for the industry, which expects to see nearly 2 million mobile music subscribers in the US within the next two years.
"Many analysts believe they could easily outstrip portable audio players like Apple's iPod in popularity within a few years. But if Jobs & Co. manage to jump into cell phones, they could bring iTunes into the mainstream. Cingular, with its more than 50 million subscribers, may be Apple's only option for a service provider in the U.S. Afraid that Apple would take a potentially new source of revenue (music downloads) for itself, all other major U.S. wireless carriers have refused Jobs's overtures outright."