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iPod, Part II

I had my say about the iPod flea/nano/whatever earlier this week. The Motorola ROKR was Apple’s other interesting recent announcement. In short, the ROKR brings iTunes to a cellphone. I find it interesting not because it’s so revolutionary, but because the phone itself is so ordinary. That doesn’t sound like Apple, does it?

Why wouldn’t the first iTunes phone be as uniquely designed as the Mac, the Newton or the iPod itself? It’s basically a run-of-the-mill phone which happens to offer iTunes service. By the way, that service doesn’t sound all that slick – the songs have to be loaded from a computer, not from the wireless connection itself. Huh?

The phone only holds about 100 songs, so it’s not likely to replace your dedicated MP3 player. Apple was probably a bit concerned about releasing a phone that could hold lots more and has a higher coolness factor. Why? It could kill the golden goose the iPod franchise has become . They wouldn’t want to do that for a measly licensing fee to Motorola or some other manufacturer.

Surely Apple has something a lot more exciting than the ROKR on the drawing board, right? I have zero inside information on this, but my guess is they’ll measure the interest level in an iTunes-enabled phone with the ROKR, then follow that up with a real Apple product down the road. What’s a “real Apple product”? It’s one that is exclusively branded “Apple”, which means they’ll get the revenue, not just a piece of it.


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