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
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.
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.
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