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Cingular music deal excludes Apple

updated 09:10 am EST, Wed November 1, 2006

Cingular excludes Apple

Cingular is partnering with Napster and Yahoo to launch a new music service on its cellular network, catering to users with mobile phones that also offer music playback capability in a bold move to defy Apple's dominance as the leader of digital music downloads. Previous reports speculated that Cingular might partner with Apple as the Cupertino-based company's highly-anticipated 'iPhone' nears its rumored launch, backed by a trademark filing, various patents, and industry insider tips. Cingular's new service, which is expected to debut as early as tomorrow, will likely spoil any potential agreements between the mobile carrier and the iPod-maker. Cingular in September of 2005 expressed desire to work with Apple to create a music service that would allow users to download songs to their mobile phones, but said it hoped for "slightly higher" pricing on tracks than the iTunes Music Store.

Cingular last year also became the exclusive provider of the Motorola ROKR phone, integrating Apple's iTunes mobile software to play audio tracks purchased from the iTunes Music Store. The ROKR was dubbed a flop, however, and the disappointment led to an overhaul of the ROKR phone followed by Motorola's complete severance from Apple as the company took on iTunes in early January with its next-generation ROKR E2 phone, which uses its own digital radio service to play music rather than iTunes software.

Cingular's new service will initially support transferring music from computers to cellular phones using a cable, offering support for tracks downloaded from Napster to Go, as well as Yahoo's Y Music Unlimited and eMusic services. The new service also supports transferring tracks ripped from CDs, MP3s, and Windows Media files, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Cingular also plans to add an over-the-air downloading option next year that will take users to a virtual store via compatible telephone headsets, similar to those already used for ringtone sales.

by MacNN Staff



  1. alansky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why start now?

    Cingular and Verizon, the two biggest mobile providers, have both utterly ignored Mac users in the mobile internet connectivity arena. It's like Apple and its customers didn't even exist.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: why start now

    Um, something you need to realize is that Apple's marketshare of computers is inconsequential. When it comes to their music service and iPods, a far greater percentage of those users are Windows users.

    What we're seeing here is probably Cingular's desire to get into the arena, and they didn't want to wait on Apple's whims of releasing the best-damnedest mobile phone around.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fourth largest computer m

    Fourth largest computer maker inconsequential, yea right. Windows users use iPods and iTunes that's why it has 80% of the music & video downloads market and also a 70% marketshare of the MP3 players. They're greedy and want more money for downloads to fill there pockets and that's why they will fail!

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You won't catch me

    on cingular's network ever again. I dropped them for a local GSM carrier that gives me a nice nationwide plan and decent daytime minutes with unlimited mobile to mobile and all that jazz. cingular's big thing is the rollover minutes, but even those wouldn't make me switch. Verizon's phones STILL can't send photos with bluetooth, but they can receive them -- go figure. What the market mandators need to realize is that less than 40% of the users will know how to make the hardware work with other hardware with the built in bluetooth, most will still default to sending a picey email of the picture to themselves. It just irritates me so much how they try and make as much money as possible off these things. $2 for a 18 second MIDI, for example, is ludacris.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I guess

    Cingular will soon learn the meaning the of word: SINGULAR

  1. chirpy22

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i don't see you can say Cingular will fail. They are the largest provider. No matter what way they go they will make money. And I don't see why someone would even want to buy an iPhone if they already have an iPod, which most Apple customers already do. It's not going to have the space on it that an iPod has. You know what I'd like to see a cell provider make...a phone that is just that, a phone. Not a freakin camera, not an mp3 player, not a video camera, not an instant messenger, and not a web browser. Make it inexpensive AND make it tough, so that if I drop it it doesn't break right away. Have it sync my address book properly and I'll be happy. Can someone please make a phone like this? Is it possible to simplify technology? Why do we have to have these "Star Trek" devices that try to do everything?

  1. LVShowMan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    1) Why have a link to a subscription only newspaper I'm not going to sign up for.

    2) When it comes to Apple, I think the title should be Apple excludes Cingular from iTunes. Who's the leader here?

    3) Maybe this is a dry run for Cingular to get it right before Apple introduces its new phone, with Cingular service, at Macworld SF.

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