updated 12:15 am EST, Wed February 8, 2006
New music phones coming
Apple can expect more competition from moble carriers as they roll out more phones that offer music playback. Samsung's A900, often called 'The Blade' can be used with Sprint's own music service, which offers downloads for $2.50, while Motorola's newest iTunes phone, the Slvr, works with Apple's iTunes; however, downloads on both of these device is limited to 50 and 100, respectively. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia plans to launch the N91 phone, which will provide high-fidelity sound, a 3,000-song hard drive, and 12.5 hour battery life for between $500 and $700 (after carrier discounts), while Motorola is expected to introduce Rokr E2 with a capacity of 500 songs and Sony Ericsson in May will debut the W810i Walkman phone, which will store 500 songs and will be priced at $400 (before carrier discount).
The new generation of wireless phones could bring increased competition for Apple's iPod as they begin to deliver larger song capacities and longer battery life, although many of the carriers have yet to make money selling songs, although some say that Verizon's Vcast music service could pose the biggest threat to Apple's service. Apple on Tuesday cut prices on the Shuffle and introduced the 1GB iPod nano.