Apple and Motorola Finally Launch iTunes Phone
Motorola and Apple today launched the first phone that will sync with their iTunes software. The Motorola ROKR E1 is almost exactly the model expected after months of leaks and rumors. It is based on Motorola’s E398 phone and shares the same hardware features: a VGA camera with flash, tri-band GSM/GPRS, 176 x 220 display and microSD (TransFlash) memory card slot. It also has stereo speakers, a stereo headset jack, and a lighted bezel the syncs to ringtones. The difference is that the ROKR syncs to iTunes, like any other iPod, via a USB cable. It can play tracks from the iTunes Music Store and can be filled with iTunes Autofill. Like the Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, the ROKR will feature an airplane mode to listen to music with the phone off. The ROKR will be available exclusively on Cingular in the US, and should be in their stores this weekend.
The new Motorola ROKR (pronounced “Rocker”) is available in the following markets:
- U.S. – today, exclusively with Cingular
- U.K. – available first with Carphone Warehouse, expected in mid-September and then with O2, followed by Orange, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile and other top retailers through September and October
- France – expected to be available by late September through key retailers
- Italy – expected to be available by late September through key retailers
- Germany – expected to be available through distributor and operator channels in 2H 05
- Canada – expected to be available in mid- to late-September with Rogers Wireless
- Hong Kong – expected to be available by late September through multiple retail outlets and operator channels
- Australia, Singapore and the Philippines – expected to be available late September through early October through retail and operator channels
- Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and other markets throughout the world – expected to be available in the fourth quarter
“The Motorola ROKR represents the ultimate convergence of mobile communications and music,” said Ed Zander, chairman and CEO of Motorola. “Fusing iTunes with your always-with-you mobile phone, we’re revolutionizing the way the world experiences mobile self-expression and entertainment.”
"We’ve worked closely with Motorola to deliver the world’s best music experience on a mobile phone," said Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes. "We’re also thrilled to be working with some of the largest wireless carriers in the world to bring this pioneering phone to market."
The Motorola ROKR features a color display for viewing album art, dual built-in stereo speakers and stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphone. Music fans can randomly autofill or manually fill the mobile phone with playlists of their favorite music, audiobooks and Podcasts from their iTunes library via a USB connection. The Motorola ROKR pauses music automatically when users take a call and offers the ability to listen to music while checking messages** or snapping a photo.