Tuesday, May 16, 2006

iPod cellphone on the way

So far Apple's attempts to get an iTunes-compatible MP3 player in a phone have not gone smoothly. Last year's Motorola/Apple project, the ROKR, was--by nearly all accounts--a tremendous failureIt received negative reviews for poor design and lack of song storage.

Meanwhile, the much-rumored iPhone is still theoretically in development, though sources claim it's stalled. Many had predicted the device would be available later this year, but without even an announcement the iPhone still exists only in Apple fans' imaginations.

The iPod + cellphone trend of failure is one that Apple and Japanese Web and telecom conglomerate Softbank Corp. aim to reverse. The two companies are reportedly working together on another cellphone that will support MP3s along with a built-in iPod capable of downloading music from iTunes. Neither Apple nor Softbank were available for comment, which is hardly surprising given how notoriously tight-lipped Apple is.

I'm excited to see Apple actually releasing an iPod cellphone someday. Will this new product come through? I think taking a "wait and see" approach, rather than jumping on the hype bandwagon, will go a long way toward ensuring this device's eventual success.

For more, please see Reuters.

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