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Motorola Announces E1060 Phone With iTunes Support 268

amichalo writes "Topping today's earlier news that Nokia and MS are collaborating on digital music in a cell phone, Motorola announced the E1060, a cell phone available Q4 2005 that supports MPEG-4/WMV/WMA/MP3 formats. Interestingly, Motorola is not locking themselves into Apple's iTunes, but also support Real Player. Reuters has more."
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Motorola Announces E1060 Phone With iTunes Support

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  • Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NivenHuH ( 579871 ) * on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:24PM (#11673054) Homepage
    Is it just me or has motorola really made a come back with their industrial design? This unit looks great!

    Some initial questions:
    - Is there any word on what the iTunes interface looks like?
    - Do we know what kind of removable memory it has? (What is TransFlash??)
    - Will it DRM the music files so you can't transfer them back over bluetooth (is it a one-way sync?)
    - Is the Bluetooth 2.0?
    • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Informative)

      by johkir ( 716957 )
      You can read all about trans-flash here [sandisk.com]. And that's all I can help you with.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kplusplus ( 617856 )
      We must be looking at different phones. The RAZR is great for it's featureset and form factor, but this thing is the same old lump of a phone that everything else comes in.

      I would really like to know how this is a RAZR succesor.
    • It's just you. This thing if uglier then my pet monkey's butt. IMO...

      Well, at least now we know that apple's ID dept had NOTHING to do with this...
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Informative)

      by GrouchoMarx ( 153170 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:57PM (#11673331) Homepage
      - Do we know what kind of removable memory it has? (What is TransFlash??)

      TransFlash is a removable flash memory format designed by SanDisk specifically for Motorola at their request. It's used in about 3-5 Motorola phones now, I think, and absolutely nowhere else. It's thin enough and small enough that you could lose it and not even realize it's gone for weeks until you need it. It's about the size as my pinky fingernail, and almost as thin. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities aside from being so insanely small that Motorola can stick a slot into their phones and say they support removable media without actually allocating serious space for it. It's FAR less useful than SD or CF, the only worthwhile removable flash media format (IMHO).

      Now, in their defense, Motorola assumes that most people will put one card in their phone and leave it forever, except maybe once or twice when they replace it with a bigger one and then leave that one in forever, like a hard drive. That's probably a valid assumption, but still having a proprietary format has all the associated problems with being proprietary (no competition so high prices, can't swap between devices, etc. etc. etc.)
      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Informative)

        by sagekoala06 ( 786349 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2005 @01:06AM (#11675057) Journal
        http://news.morningstar.com/news/BW/M10/D25/200410 25005359.html [morningstar.com] "TransFlash continues to generate interest among other mobile phone makers as well, said Sabio. SanDisk expects approximately 40 handset models from several manufacturers to include TransFlash support in 2005." The link above also has some details such as the exact size ... but yeah, pinky nail size is a pretty good size comparison. I don't know if the parent has ever actually used a device with Transflash regularly but they really aren't that difficult to handle and really aren't a proprietary format. As far as I know all retail transflash cards come with a SD adapter, and I do happen to know for sure that the card is the exact same as a SD card except that the pins are in a slightly different order and it's a different package. (I made an adapter to allow my v710 to read from a 1gig transflash simply by soldering a SD card to the pins of a hollow TF body) The parent however is correct that I hardly take mine out. I do so maybe only once every few weeks to throw an episode of sealab and some fresh mp3s on there. Its not one of those things you carry around with you (although it does have a nice little carrier that holds a TF card and the SD adapter (you can even carry around a second TF in the adapter). How many people here would pay a one time fee of $25 to give their phone the ability to get free ring tones, watch full length movies and episodes of your favourite shows, mp3s, freely move pictures from a pc. (or $45 for 256mb) What it comes down to is the functionality it adds to devices is more than worth what it costs (around $10 more than a same size SD from sandisk) AND, offers all the same features of a SD card ... plus making your phone kick ass I mean come on.
      • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikeage ( 119105 )
        I have a motorola with TF -- it came with a TF->SD adaptor. Given that I have that, and it emulates a standard SD drive, why is it less useful than SD? (Seeing as how it takes virtually no space on the phone for the connector, something that CF, and even SD can't claim).
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:24PM (#11673058) Journal
    I must be a dying breed... I want my phone to make calls with, I want my iPod to listen to music too, and now you guys are blurring the lines again... Stop it... I can see it now... in a year, I'll have an iPod that does PDA stuff, plays music, is a cell phone, has a 10 megapixel camera in it, and opens my garage door.

    Why can't I have a phone that just works as a phone... and an Mp3 player that just plays music, nothing else? I thought apple was going in the right direction with the shuffle... it's small, and does just one thing... play music... is that too much to ask of phones?
    • by polyhue ( 38042 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:27PM (#11673082)
      I think when you're trying to keep prices up and keep sales volume up, yes it might be too much to ask. I agree though, it's harder and harder to find a decent mobile phone that works well as a phone, first and foremost. Often you have to buy some super-fancy decked out version just to get a decent phone, but pay a huge premium for 45 features you don't want or need. Well, here's your market opening... get out the soldering gun.
      • I think when you're trying to keep prices up and keep sales volume up, yes it might be too much to ask. I agree though, it's harder and harder to find a decent mobile phone that works well as a phone, first and foremost. Often you have to buy some super-fancy decked out version just to get a decent phone, but pay a huge premium for 45 features you don't want or need. Well, here's your market opening... get out the soldering gun.

        Wait... you said a decent phone... I can't make a decent phone... if multi-bi
        • The OP is a troll. You can find PLENTY of phones that are not stacked with features. You would be hard pressed to find one without a web browser, but that's just software. It's trivial to get phones without bluetooth, with no camera, without a case designed primarily for easy housing replacement, without a joystick, et cetera. YHBT. HTH, HAND.
          • by DarkVader ( 121278 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @10:08PM (#11674257)
            Yes, but I like those features fine.

            I want a big one.

            Nobody makes a phone big enough for me anymore. i want a phone that extends from my ear to my mouth, and can rest comfortably on my shoulder. I'm not interested in putting it in my pocket, I'll clip it to my belt, thanks. But I'm sick of small telephones.

            Oh, and one more little feature that I want - GOOD VOICE QUALITY. I can almost live without big for that one.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by path_man ( 610677 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:34PM (#11673138)

      Mod parent up!! -- this might be "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." but the main thing we nerds want is STUFF THAT WORKS.

      The best example of the converged device that STILL isn't worth a damn is the all-in-one printer which faxes, scans, copies, and prints... not a one of those does it do well. Oh, and by the way, with phones you have the added problem of low price, battery life, portability, and god forbid, if I lose the damn thing I don't want the be SOL because all the stuff I use (mp3 players, PDA, phone, etc.) is missing.

      As usual, the manufacturers have created a solution without a problem. I have yet to hear somone at the gym say "Boy, I'd sure like my music player ring and have all my calendar/contact information as well". These things are a solution looking for a problem

      • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <deviladv&gmail,com> on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:01PM (#11673358) Homepage
        I, for one, welcome the chance to have an MP3 player on my phone. Why? Because I don't want to carry 4 portable devices. 1 phone, 1 camera, 1 MP3 player, and one palm pilot. That's effectively what I want and it's what the Treo 600 and 650 give me. Well actually no, I don't really want the camera, but I can't get a high end phone these days without it so I'll deal for now.

        Frankly, I'm going to spend the money on the phone, and I like having a portable entertainment and workstation on my hip at all times, which is what it is. I can take care of simple work tasks just from that phone, and i can entertain myself very easily while waiting or traveling. The Mp3 player doesn't store that many songs and i need a memory card, but hell I don't carry with me that many Mp3s! I'm never going to fill up a 10,000 song player... or even a 1,000 song one.

        Just because you don't want one doesn't mean other people don't. So far the only thing I don't like about those phones are the cameras. Everything else does in fact work great.
        • I agree - but for one point - something not dedicated to one task is usually going to be of a lower quality than a conglomerate device.
          • Speaking for myself, a big factor in "quality" is form factor: being able to carry my things around, without the bulk causing my pants to slide down to my ankles.

            So sure, I'll settle for a plastic lens, or the inability to play OGGs, especially since this way I'm always prepared for those unexpected Kodak moments. (And for when I know in advance I'm going to want to take a lot of photos, I have my standalone digital camera.)
            • Speaking for myself, a big factor in "quality" is form factor: being able to carry my things around, without the bulk causing my pants to slide down to my ankles.

              There's another advantage of converged devices: you can get functions that are a "mix" of the two, which often turn out to be useful in their own right.

              The Treo is a smartphone: a mobile phone and a PDA. But it's called "Treo" because it has three functions: mobile phone, PDA, and mobile Internet. The third function is a mix of the first two.

      • My phone already is excellent for making calls.

        If I can get a phone that has a good 2+ megapixel camera, an mp3 player, an NES emulator and a blender, and priced decently, I'll buy it.

        Not all products are about solutions to problems. Integration isn't a problem, just a convienence. A Camera-phone isn't solving anything, but it sure is making the act of carrying not only a camera, but also a way to transmit said images, easier. A camera-music player-phone probably isn't going to revolutionize things, bu
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Funny)

        by michaelhood ( 667393 )
        Also, bear in mind, the target marget for this device have never seen the inside of this "gym" you speak of.
      • Phones don't have a low price problem. Carriers subsidize the cost of the phone to provide a low perceived price. In actuality, EVERY customer of a carrier is helping pay for those phones; If everyone upgraded their phone every year when they're eligible, they would cost more. My Motorola V300 is like a $320 phone if you buy it from Motorola, but it's $50 from T-Mobile on new activations. It's really not a $50 device.

        Anyway, just because YOU are not the target market doesn't mean the rest of us want to ca

        • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

          by Hoch ( 603322 )
          Not to hate, but I have played around with my friends' V300's, and compared to my much less converged nokia 3100, they suck. They are slow, the camera takes bad pictures, and from what i can tell the user interface is designed to be confusing. Yea, integration could be good, but when the choice is between a product that works well and a poorly designed one, I will buy the one that works well.
          • The user interface is configurable and you can even reorder menus and buttons. The camera is slow, but the pictures are the best I've seen from a VGA-res camera phone yet, and the screen is absolutely fantastic.

            I solved the slow camera problem by flashing my phone with a V600 software image. This also enables features like video clips, assuming I add Video to the Multimedia menu. I need to do some SEEM hacking and figure out some more features, because the V500 image I have has TTY support, too, and I wan

        • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tsiangkun ( 746511 )
          also has better reception than the "dumb" phone with the tiny mono screen that it replaced

          And this would be the point of the discussion, from my POV.

          Where is the phone that can stand on it's own and say

          "I am a kickass phone, I get better reception that the cheap alternatives to the model containing a spare kitchen sink, my batteries last 3 months on standby or 48 hours of talk. I was designed to be a better phone, not a better way to carry eight devices in your pocket ! "

      • I know this is slightly OT, but our office has a multifunction device [canon.com] (page breaks in firefox. get with the program canon!) that really is great at all tasks. The scanner is only useful for documents/ocr, but it works great for that. It is a great printer and the fax and photocopier features are superior to our old copier and fax machine. Perhaps the crappy consumer grade multifuntion machines suck, but I think the scanner/copier/printer is a great solution for most small offices.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Biff Stu ( 654099 )
      Less stuff to schlep around. If one gadget can function as an i-Pod, cell phone, PDA, and digital camera, that's less to carry.

      Of course, to be truly useful, it must do all the functions well. I personally don't see the point of the camera-phone combo, but that's mainly because they aren't especially good cameras, and I don't need a camera with me all the time anyhow.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:45PM (#11673222)
      True, but carrying a ton of garbage in your pockets can be VERY annoying... and that's what industrial designers are trying to solve. My pants are full of ridiculous garbage. My Costanza sized wallet, my keys, my phone, my iPod, headphones, my pen drive, a ton of change, and, as I recall, some testicles buried some place in there.

      I think a media player / camera / phone isn't a bad idea... if it were done properly. And no one has really done it properly... yet.

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

        by silentbozo ( 542534 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:56PM (#11673325) Journal
        Get yourself a surplus ammo belt. Lot of little Batman-style utility pouches for storing your gear. On the plus side, you don't have to worry about a hole in your pocket creating a situation where half of your life disappears. On the downside, the ammo-belt definitely does not go with suits. For that, you'll need a holster rig...
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by generic-man ( 33649 )
      I bought a Motorola v180 [google.com] for $80 cash -- you can get it for free or less (really!) with a contract. It's a phone. It's small, lightweight, durable to the point where you don't panic if you drop it, and it has a readable color screen.

      It even has a USB port if you want to hack it. It does not, however, have a substantial PDA (basic phone book and datebook), have a camera, play MP3s (as far as I could tell), or do any other fancy stuff.

      Nobody's forcing you to buy a camera phone. And if the v180 is too ri
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:48PM (#11673242)
      Convergence makes sense because there is such a huge overlap between the guts of most mobile devices. All cameras, PDAs, phones, MP3 players need CPU + RAM + flash + battery. By combining these you only need one set to support all the functionality and makes for one lump of stuff in your pocket.

      Divergence makes sense because some people just want a phone that does the phone function well. I don't really care for carrying around a shitty camera. I don't use a PDA. I don't like music. I therefore bought me a Nokia 1100 phone. Dumb as a rock phone with BW screen no bluetooth etc. Small, cheap and lasts for a month on a single charge (my mileage). When I do carry a digital camera, I want pretty good photos and carry a real digital camera.

      If you look at hunting knives, you'll see a wide spectrum of just-a-blade knives to Swiss Army (does everything, but not very well). I expect that phone vendors will continue to mnake just-a-phone, but the incremental addition of a MP3 player etc is getting cheaper and adds a bunch of functionality (as well as a way to sell services), so the richer feature set will continue to grow too.

      • One problem with convergence is where you have a device that does X, Y, and Z, and you go to a place that doesn't allow one of those things. For example, there was some brouhaha in my area recently over gyms kicking people out for bringing in their cell phones that happened to have cameras built in (the gyms in question did not allow cameras). This could become a real problem if you have total convergence. Suddenly that iPod you like to use while you're at the gym is banned because you might potentially tak
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      That's how I feel. Especially since I buy devices specifically for certain tasks.

      My main gripe is that these features that are added to these devices are done half-assed, so to speak. Sure, the Palm series of handhelds (and the various pocketPCs) do the PDA thing damn-good, but when you wanna watch video/listen to music, they don't really have the storage for them... and when you wanna play games, they don't really have the hand-control.

      That's why I bought an iPod, so I have the storage for my music.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:50PM (#11673272) Homepage
      Every time we talk about cell phones, the highest modded post is a version of the one I'm replying to. Don't want new features? Fine, stick with your old phone. Or, buy a used one. Or, buy a new one that doesn't have all the bells and whistles (yes you can still find simple phones in ample supply). Plus, Some of us would like to carry fewer gadgets in our pockets.

      I thought this was Slashdot, a gatehring of people excited about new technology. Why do we mod up people who want to live in the past?

    • Why? Because phone companies give away the phone to sell the insanely priced data services.

      And in this case, the real cost is cell towers, which odds are cannot be built near you because noone wants one in their back yard.

      So, two words: LAND LINE. Get one of the 3cents/min AT&T cards, and guess what, it works perfectly. Plus, you wont be killed on the roads as often.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ezthrust ( 564219 )
      While I understand your desire for "just a phone" some of us see the value in carrying less $500 gadgets around with us. I also understand your frustration with the lack of ability to make these things do what they do well. But IF they do succeed and make a unit that plays with the ease of an iPod and makes calls as well as any of their other phones, then what harm does it do the market?

      If variety is good for the software market, as the saying goes here on /., and innovation is good, Then why is the same

    • Well, you get modded "insightful", with which I agree. now its the market's turn to mod the motorolapple and nokiasoft phonepods...how many months before we see profits saying "insightful" or losses saying "overrated"? I have exactly the same issues [slashdot.org] with the Microsoft/Nokia mediaphoney deal.
    • Because some of us are getting tired of walking around with a lump of devices in our pockets. My new Khakis have really deep front pockets, and I wind up having more than one device per pocket (fairly easy in the hustle and bustle of college life) - it looks like I am walking around with an erection.
  • cool... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...but can i install Debian + X + GNOME on it then do a suitcase mod and carry that around with me ?
  • Too bad Moto isn't including iTunes support in their awesome (though expensive) RAZR phone or at least across most of their high-end mobiles. Moto also states that they will be compatible with non-iTMS [com.com] offerings such as Real as well, so it's not an exclusive.
    • The Razr V3 is much like a supermodel: from afar it is exquisite, but up close, it's annoying, hard to deal with, and hard to justify.

      See, the Razr is gorgeous (though it's slightly odd proportions take some getting used to). The keypad actually works. And it's almost stunning to whip one of those things out and watch people ooo and ahhh.

      On the other hand, the UI is godawful slow, the address book is confounding ("add digits"?), the screen doesn't make very good use of its size, voice command is a joke,
  • iTunes? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Geekenstein ( 199041 )
    Ok, so maybe it supports AAC, but the songs that come from the iTunes Music Store have DRM protection in them, and Windows Media Player definitely won't support that format. So sure, you can copy your own songs encoded by iTunes into AAC, but why use AAC if it isn't DRM'd?
    • Re:iTunes? (Score:5, Informative)

      by outZider ( 165286 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:31PM (#11673115) Homepage
      No, no. Nokia is using Windows Media Player. Motorola is using iTunes software, so it supports DRM'd AAC as well as the other formats. :)
      • I wonder, though, if one of these counts as an activation for iTunes (I'm thinking you have to auth it in a manner similar to a computer, as otherwise you could just grab music from anyone's iTMS purchases and put them on there)
    • I believe the whole deal is that it DOES support iTunes encrypted AAC. Otherwise it would just be an mpeg4 audio file.
    • Re:iTunes? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by illumin8 ( 148082 )
      Ok, so maybe it supports AAC, but the songs that come from the iTunes Music Store have DRM protection in them, and Windows Media Player definitely won't support that format. So sure, you can copy your own songs encoded by iTunes into AAC, but why use AAC if it isn't DRM'd?

      Yeah, I'm not exactly clear how it supports iTMS PlayFair DRM either. The linked article mentions only MPEG4, not iTunes, so it is quite a leap to assume that this phone is the iTunes mobile phone that Apple and Motorola have been talk
      • FairPlay is tied to the computer, not the portable devices. AFAIK, you can sync as many iPods (and soon, phones) as you want, to any one of the five(?) computers which are authorized to play your purchased iTunes tracks.

        Via the disc functionality, you can copy protected song files on/off an iPod at will; but, they will not play unless they were loaded via iTunes. I suspect it will be the same for these phones.

  • Keyboard? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NEOtaku17 ( 679902 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:28PM (#11673091) Homepage
    No QWERTY? Won't that limit all that instant messaging and e-mailing you could do with it, and before someone tells me about the size being a consideration you should check out my phone: the Motorola A630 [motorola.com]. Small does not mean no keyboard.
    • Nice link, Motorola seems to have removed the images of the phone opened up. WAs it that way when you linked it, or did you even check?
      • Googled for "motorola a630" and the first results (two hits from the Image search that displayed in the 'web' search category) were relevant. Here it is open [club-java.com].
    • No QWERTY? Won't that limit all that instant messaging and e-mailing you could do with it

      Yes, that will limit IM and emailing. In TFA, it says "the E1060 model which is aimed at music afficianados and which will feature iTunes Music Player"... meaning the market they're targeting with that phone isn't likely to be typing out text messages, instead they'll be cheerfully listening to MP3 tunes ( AAC FairPlay DRM'd or otherwise ).

      You and your text messaging friends will want the upcoming A1000 or something, w

      • I have gotten to the point where I can type pretty quickly with iTap. The predictive text entry makes typing with one thumb faster than typing with two thumbs and no predictive entry in many cases. If I were planning to ssh from my phone, I'd want a full keyboard. For SMSing, the normal keypad is sufficient. I have 250 SMS, and I have used more than half of them on more than one occasion.
  • Another... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Robotron23 ( 832528 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:29PM (#11673098)
    Another day, another useless piece of gadgetry. 2005 is turning out to be another year in which the electronics industry as a whole adds to its products useless features, and expects (sensibly) consumers to lap it up and beg for seconds.
  • 'bout time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nborders ( 574461 )
    Man this took them forever. Call me a simple developer, however how hard can it be to add some more flash memory, better sound output through a headset, and modify the hardware to read MP3s. I've been pissed at the phone industry for nearly 2 years for not doing this. ~n
    • Re:'bout time (Score:4, Informative)

      by shark72 ( 702619 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:08PM (#11673400)

      " Man this took them forever. Call me a simple developer, however how hard can it be to add some more flash memory, better sound output through a headset, and modify the hardware to read MP3s. I've been pissed at the phone industry for nearly 2 years for not doing this."

      It's not the first phone with those features, by far. My somewhat old Sony Ericsson K700i [sonyericsson.com] has ~ 40MB of memory and plays MP3s with good quality. I don't use it as an MP3 player in the traditional sense, but I use MP3 files as ringtones, much to the chagrin of the people around me. The FM radio has been surprisingly useful as well.

      It's not easy to find in the US, but it's available online. I got an unlocked model on my last trip to Asia. A trip to Asia is a great way to remind one's self of how utterly backward the US mobile phone market is.

  • I won't be satisfied with cell phones until mine has a boombox attached to the side of it. When that day comes I'll truly reach the pinnacle of bling-bling.
  • or, alternatively... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:37PM (#11673153)
    Interestingly, Motorola is not locking themselves into Apple's iTunes, but also support Real Player.

    Or, alternatively, "Interestingly, Nokia has locked themselves into Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Motorola has not done so"

    ...or how about, "Interestingly, the device will support a wide number of formats"?

    Really getting tired of slanted stories.

    It's pretty big news that the Motorola device supports stuff other than WMP formats. Why? Because generally MS contracts for that sort of thing go as follows: "License WMP, get the technology really, really cheap, get lots of support from us, we'll practically write it all for you. Now, dump everything else, or the deal's off." Motorola told 'em to go screw.

    • by Humorously_Inept ( 777630 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:10PM (#11673413) Homepage
      Actually, Nokia has not locked itself into anything. Current models support MP3/WAV/AAC/AMR on the audio front and MPEG-4/H.263 on the video front, and Real formats as well.

      The only value in this press release is the word "iTunes." Everything else has already been done by the competiton.
    • If you're tired of slanted stories, you should NEVER read ANY news from ANY source. They are ALL slanted, it doesn't matter if it comes from News Corp. or from Reuters, Ltd.
    • to mod or to comment (sigh)

      You're dead on, but missing the bigger picture. The US isn't *that* great a cellular market... now, how many European carriers do you think want to be locked into Microsoft Tax for for all the content on their networks?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:40PM (#11673175)
    Why do they keep putting the features of $comment{device1} into $comment{device2}? I just want my $comment{device1} to do $comment{device1_function}. Next thing you know, my $comment[25]{simple_device} will have $comment[25]{outrageous_feature}.
    • Am I getting younger, or do I detect the Old Man Syndrome squeezing itself into the discussion?

      Really, I have said before that I get annoyed with all the stuff they attempt to put into a phone, but one of the main reasons most folks got into connectivity technology was to communicate in innovative ways.

      I'm going to keep an open mind with this coupling. Who knows where I might find a use for this. What about Books on Tape "On Tap"? Downloadable audio books from a favorite author?

  • Now add in game-playing and decent PDA functionality (PalmOS, ideally), and this is the all-in-one gadget to rule the world.

    More storage would be nice, as would more megapixels, but I'm definitely planning on getting one to replace my V60 and Palm Pilot and use as a second iPod.

  • by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:48PM (#11673240)
    The way to make money with music-enabled cell phones is this.

    1) Make sure you can sync with your computer (e.g., iTunes)
    2) Keep the airtime charge for download low (music biz to subsidize?)
    3) Work with the radio stations so that when they play a new release they can also say, "And dial *1592 with your iTunes phone to buy and download this song now"

    Instant gratification + low end user cost = profit
  • Really? I want my OGG support! Plus, sticking it in a product like this might get some more users of it, and make it just a little more used (another nail in the MP3 coffin).
  • Ed Zander moves from Sun Microsystems to Motorola, and shakes things up with an emphasis on the customers-- article from the Economist here [economist.com]

    (requires subscription or pay per view)

    • ...here are some good articles on Zander with no reg required:

      Making Over Motorola: If mobile communication is going to be seamless, Motorola has to be seamless. Forbes Yahoo Business: link [yahoo.com]

      New chief reconnecting Motorola: Memories of earnings disappointments and last holiday season's product debacle are blurring as investors focus on rising sales and profits. link [chicagotribune.com]

  • Hint: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:52PM (#11673293) Homepage
    No one will buy it. No one is going to buy the Nokia/Microsoft thing either. Just like no one bought the Nokia N-Gage. People don't want this sort of thing.

    The thing to remember about "convergence" devices is they only make sense if you can perform both functions without either interfering with the other. Let's say someone sells something that is both a video game system and a DVD player [azursoft.fr]. This is a good idea. There is no interference, and the parts compliment the whole nicely; a DVD player needs some kind of MPEG decoder, a video game system needs some kind of optical drive, but the two never interfere-- you will never want to use your DVD player and video game system at the same time. Now let's say someone sells something that is both a video game system and a PVR [techstuff.ca]. It will not sell. True, a hard drive and certain other features are desirable in both video games and PVRs. There is massive interference, though; you very much want to use both of these products at the same time. You want to be able to sit there and play GTA all night without worrying that you're missing Family Guy, because the Tivo will just pick it up. The engineer must thus either duplicate so much hardware that there is little or no benefit to the convergence, or just dictate "you can't use the pvr and video game features at once". (Your PC, of course, can act as both a PVR and a video game system without significant interference! But there you're trading functionality for convenience, ease of use, focus and cost. Someone could try to slap together a PC that plugs into a TV and say "look! it's a pvr and video game system!"... but they'll probably be as hard to use and charge as much as if you'd just bought a small PC.)

    Now, let's think: What if someone tries to put an mp3 player in a phone? Even worse idea. The parts compliment each other poorly; you do not want or need the kind of playback quality on a phone that you need in an mp3 player, you do not want or need the kind of disk storage in a phone that you need in an mp3 player (unless you have the ability to record and save phone calls or ambient noise, which is a kickass potential feature, but unlikely due to legality). Meanwhile, there's interference. You want to be able to pause your mp3 player to answer your phone without losing your place; you want to be able to run your mp3 player all night without your phone battery being dead in the morning. The two features subtly, but distinctly, struggle for the hardware. Maybe if Apple is building the thing they can reconcile the two. If Motrorola designs it... probably not so much.

    Basically the only benefit here is that unlike with PVRs or video game systems, people have shown themselves ready and willing in large quantities to pay too much for mp3 players and phones. OK... wait, actually that's a pretty good benefit, since people have demonstrated they're willing to pay more for a "luxury" product with the iPod name, and if this is a high-margin product it will make decent profit even if very few people buy one. Um, I might have just seriously damaged my own argument. But, you get the idea.

    Someday a PDA, a video game system, a phone, and an mp3 player may all converge in a single cost-effective, battery-efficient device. Until that day it is unlikely consumers will bite on a product that is more than one, but not all of these.

    (Note: If you object to anything above, pretend I prepended it with "In my opinion...)
    • You want to be able to pause your mp3 player to answer your phone without losing your place

      I would think this is a software issue. And unless the phone did this automatically for you, there's no chance in hell I'd buy it. There are enough issues with people being able to answer the phones they already have before the call goes to voicemail, there's no need to complicate it further.

      you want to be able to run your mp3 player all night without your phone battery being dead in the morning

      Yeah, this is key
    • There's actually several good reasons for a phone to have music support:

      Ringtones and hold music.

      You call your buddy with an iTunes phone and are put on hold. What do you hear? How about something from Schubert? Someone calls you, and what do you hear? Why not Snoop Dog?

      Yes, some people will think it's stupid and some people will think it's annoying.
    • Re:Hint: (Score:2, Informative)

      Interesting points but we don't have to "think" about "if" someone would try to put an mp3 player in a phone because it's been available for ages. Indeed, putting a PVR in a phone has almost been done in Japan (the phone uses Infrared to tune the cable box to the right channel and starts recording via video input so you can watch it later on your commute). Basically, there are plenty of phones that can play MP3's and yes, even AAC (MPEG4) back and most all the problems you've mentioned have been solved:

    • Re:Hint: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @09:01PM (#11673828)
      Yeah, no one will buy these as noone has bought the Nokia 6230 that has an MP3 player and can be extended with MMC cards.
      Oh no, wait, it sells like hot cakes.
      And, of course, you can record phone calls and ambient noise (that's called "dictaphone") with it. And I, for one, find it a lot more easy to deal with the management of only one battery.
      I don't get your point with regards to pausing the mp3 during a phonecall - I guess that's a feature that shows why convergence is good: if I receive (or make) a call, the mp3 is automatically paused and resumed after the call.
  • Network Ipod? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by omarKhayyam ( 544074 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:54PM (#11673309)
    This makes me wonder if Apple has designed a network Ipod that could download songs over a cell network. In my imagination of the product, it wouldn't function as a phone, because that would add unnecessary functionality. Apple has shown that extra functionality isn't always desired by consumers, especially if it's unrelated or inelegant.

    It would look exactely the same as the current Ipod. I think you could browse the store fairly efficiently if they indexed the songs by artist and song title - I bet you could keep it to four clicks maximum without too much scrolling to get to a song from the main index.

    Any thoughts?
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cinematique ( 167333 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @07:59PM (#11673340)
    Quick! Grab your umbrella! There's about to be a flood of crotchedy old techies who think mobile phones that serve more than one purpose are crazy! Crrraaazaaay!!

    Seriously though, I'm not the only one who WANTS to see the day where we have a phone, iPod, and PDA all in one device... right? Sure, bring on the "jack-of-all-trades master-of-none" arguement... but carrying around one device that does it all is better than having multiple gadgets. So what if the current creations need a little more R&D... it's not like basic phones can't be purchased anymore.
    • I actually want to have them all be separate devices with no redundant equipment (besides their own processors) but then the questions involve connecting them, security if they are connected wireless, and so on. Since the industry has proven itself to be incapable of insurmounting these particular obstacles (in particular, playing nice with others) I'll take convergence devices instead.
  • Are they actually going to make this one in house, or farm it out to some third party again like the MPX line. The MPX-220 was a travishmockey, and I have't heard good things of the MPX either.

    How about fewer models and more QA?

  • I want it. Why must all geek toys (the GOOD PDAs, good computers, good gadgets, all gadgets before they go mainstream) be expensive? Fooey. But...I like cool toys. So it's more ramen for me while saving up for my next batch of toys.
  • Wasp T12 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:06PM (#11673387) Journal
    I've got a Wasp T-12 [trashbat.co.ck] including twin mp3 decks with scrubjockey interface, and sharkproof casing.

    It's been out for three weeks in Japan - where's yours?

    • Re:Wasp T12 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bazman ( 4849 )
      I posted this message about the spoof Wasp T-12 (well spotted mod who modded it 'Funny') before reading the article. So now tell me which of these phrases come from the E1060 article, and which come from the spoof Wasp T-12 ad:

      * Dynamic idle for personalized portal connections

      * Full spectrum audio dominance

      * share the scoop with rapid ease

      * hoot your trap off

      * 1024 character TXT with full fluid lexicon

      * Double duty - info focused

  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qwavel ( 733416 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @08:38PM (#11673665)
    Please, no more anouncements of products that aren't expected for 3Q's.

    If it is currently expected in Q4 2005, that means 50% it will be cancelled before it comes out, and 50% chance it will ship 6 months late. EVen if it does ship on time, announcing it today doesn't make much sense (it guess it makes pr sense, but not practical sense).
  • Now between this and the Nokia, [slashdot.org] I can unwittingly download all the latest spyware! Thanks M$!

    I can't wait until I can replace my Samsung!

    (yes I know, dupe of joke, how original :)

  • by fupeg ( 653970 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @09:08PM (#11673865)
    Go down to your local mall and its food court. Take a look at the teenagers down there and what they are doing. There has become a huge culture built around cell phones -- talking (of course), text messaging, picture mail, wallpaper, and especially ring tones. I've seen primetime TV ads lately for companies selling animated cell phone wallpaper. It's big business. The iPod, as amazingly popular as it is, is just starting to become a fixture of youth culture. So there just might be some serious money to be made in the convergence.
  • by ajna ( 151852 ) on Monday February 14, 2005 @10:02PM (#11674218) Homepage Journal
    I am the target audience. I bought an 1G iPod within 4 months of its release, I switch cell phones and providers every year to take advantage of the rebates, and my Mac is indispensible to me due to the synchronization of my calendar and contacts via iSync over Bluetooth to whatever cellphone is flavor-of-the-year.

    And this phone will almost definitely become my next pick: my 1G iPod just died (not of battery issues -- I replaced that with a Newer Tech high capacity unit a while ago), my phone contract only has a few months left on it, and this advice would therefore let me slim down my pockets by cutting a theoretical iPod Shuffle out of the loop.

    With so many phones on the market -- just browse through the US, GSM Nokia lineup sometime if you want to make your head spin -- there needs to be differentiation. All phones are reasonably small, and smaller yet is not worth $400 to me. All phones that I'd consider use Bluetooth and furthermore have adequate to excellent RF reception for all the neo-Luddites out there clamoring for "just a phone. sheesh". iTunes syncing is just the ticket for those like me on the fence.
  • I think we're jumping the gun here on this being the iTunes Motorola Phone. Even Motorola doesn't list iTunes in it's feature specs.

    As many have pointed out Apple designs the physical interfaces for all of its branding products--if iTunes were in the phone it would mean that iPod OS would be on the phone. This is just an MPEG-4 compliant phone.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll