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4/21/2005
12:32 PM
Mike Elgan
Mike Elgan
Commentary
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The iPod Phone Will Ship. But Where?

I told you April 8 that the U.S. carriers are blocking the coveted iPod phone. Still, it looks like Motorola and Apple plan to release both the phone, and a mobile version of iTunes. But where?


I told subscribers to the Personal Tech Pipeline newsletter April 8 how some major U.S. carriers are holding the up the release of the highly coveted Motorola iPod cell phone because they want to get in on the money that will be generated from music downloads ("The War Over Music Phones"). A major point of contention is that Apple and Motorola want you to be able to download from a PC or Mac the songs you've already paid for, and the the carriers don't unless you pay for it again -- and pay them, not Apple or some other music provider. Not only that, they're going to want $2 or even $3 per song, not the 99 cents Apple charges.

This morning we posted a story with further details.

Meanwhile, Motorola CEO Ed Zander told the UK's Financial Times that the phone would in fact ship "in the next few months."

There's also a rumor flying around that Apple will unveil an iTunes Mobile 1.0 application and service by June.

All this sounds like great news for iPod-happy cell phone integrationists like Yours Truly. But it makes me nervous that Zander is spilling his guts not to an American paper but a European one. Are Financial Times readers the new target customers? It's entirely possible that the American carriers will conspire to block the phone, and foreign carriers will not.

The only thing worse than the iPod phone being strangled in its crib by carriers would be its release abroad, but not here.

These U.S. carriers are the same ones that provide us with inferior service and technology compared to European and, especially, Asian carriers. Now they want to tell us we can't listen to our own MP3 files on music phones they sell us. They want to rip us off on music downloads. And they want to artificially suppress the inevitable convergence of music players and cell phones.

Why do they hate us so much?

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