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Motorola to make both Windows Media and iTunes phones

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Motorola said on Monday it had signed a deal to use Microsoft's Windows Media technology in a new line of music phones that would sell alongside its iTunes phones, Reuters is reporting.

The world's second largest mobile phone maker will launch between one and three Windows Media phones in the second half of 2006, said Chris White, the company's senior director of global product marketing for music handsets.

Motorola, which has so far launched two iTunes music phones, will keep Windows Media phones as separate products, he said.

"The iTunes phones will remain a separate line of products," White said at 3GSM, the world's biggest mobile phone trade fair.

According to Motorola, the new Windows Media phones have been requested by many operators which want to open their own music stores and sell customers music tracks. By contrast, Motorola's iTunes phones rely on Apple's closed iTunes ecosystem, which is incompatible with third-party music download services.

The fate of Motorola's iTunes phones were recently brought into question when a report surfaced that Motorola had decided not to include iTunes software on its forthcoming ROKR E2 handset and instead would use the phone to promote its own proprietary subscription-based music service.

Motorola's ROKR E1, the first iTunes phone, was released last September and proved to be a mediocre success due to limited storage capacity and bulky design.

The phone is also not popular among wireless operators because they cannot sell and transfer songs directly to the phone due to the closed iTunes system.

Last month, Motorola introduced the second of its hand sets to feature iTunes, a fashionably slim quad band phoned dubbed SLVR L7. Sales data for this model is not yet available.
post #2 of 18
Ouch. You have to wonder why anyone would buy songs on their mobile but then again there's plenty of stupid people out there that pay for ringtones that would jump at the chance to pay 2-3 times the price of the regular iTMS songs.

Surely it's not in Apple's interests to let carriers run WMA only music download sites, even expensive ones.
post #3 of 18
Veeery interesting. Its a battle between two unlike eco-systems: The iTMS-iTunes-iPod-Phone vs. a Operator-WMP-Phone one.

There is no reason for the operators not to get involved unless they can make money on it. Since iTMS barely is making money for Apple directly and they even have the benefit of being the largest one out there this means more expensive tunes (probably downloaded to the phone).

Besides it will propably be phone centered in contrast to Apples computer centered solution. What if you want to burn the song you bought on your phone? Then you have transfer it to the computer first and then burn it. The same goes for transfer to other players, you have to go over the computer first. Two steps all the time.

I really don´t see any realistic business plan in this one. It sounds like yet another pie in the sky the operators think they can grab. I have seen it over and over again: First they thought WAP would cash in, then they thought operator provided SMS service (like where is the nearest pizzaria) would fill their pockets. And lately they thought video-telephony via 3G would be the killer app and it has failed. The only real succes beside talk have been SMS and that caught most operators by surprise...
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post #4 of 18
It will be interesting to see which sells more.
post #5 of 18
They can charge 2-3 dollars per song for a Windows media phone.

Sounds assinine, but people are doing it. The music industry makes more money off of music ringtones than they do through CDs or legal downloads.

This is a push by both the cellular providers and the recording industry to make more money.
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post #6 of 18
An iTunes phone means I can transfer CD's I own to my phone, not everyone is using the music store.
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Addison
An iTunes phone means I can transfer CD's I own to my phone, not everyone is using the music store.

This is all about the store. Most phones have players already and allow you to transfer music to them. All the Nokia Series 60 and SE UIQ phones can play mp3, aac and a couple of other formats but not Windows Audio. No phone just now has DRM built in other than the Motorola iTunes phones AFAIK, not even the Windows Mobile based phones run PlaysForSure yet.

The operators want you to buy songs on your phone from their stores cutting out Apple. They need DRM on the phone to stop you from then moving it elsewhere. Since they want to operate their own stores, they're after doing that with Microsoft's software all the way through.

I wonder what Nokia and SE will do though. I can't see them allowing WMA DRM'd files on top of Symbian. They've so far been strong supporters of standards based audio. If Apple released an iTunes for Symbian with built in store they'd wipe Moto and Microsoft out in Europe at least.
post #8 of 18
Good luck selling that WiMPy phone, Motorola.

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post #9 of 18
Data transfer still costs @ $2/mb and the song ends up on a frigging phone. There is NO benefit for the consumer in this. Perhaps the customers will try it a couple of times and when they realise it sucks hard with a vengeance (the price) they will leave it.

The only succesful music service I have seen is a $8/month service at one of the 3G operaters here. It gives you 100 hours of crappy video and "radio" stream to your phone from 40 radio and 8 video streams plus the ability to download 10 videos to keep on the phone per month. But nothing of it leaves your phone and since they have just above 10 customers after being on the marked a couple of years they have all those vacant cells sitting there with nothing else to do. Any succesful operator without tons and TONS of surplus airtime would demand marked price for the data transfers.
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post #10 of 18
"The phone is also not popular among wireless operators because they cannot sell and transfer songs directly to the phone due to the closed iTunes system. "

people want what they dont understand, until they use it, get ripped off, and then go back to what is good.
anyone who buys a song on their phone, pays airtime for the download plus the 2-3 bucks per song has something very wrong with them.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by sillycybin
"The phone is also not popular among wireless operators because they cannot sell and transfer songs directly to the phone due to the closed iTunes system. "

people want what they dont understand, until they use it, get ripped off, and then go back to what is good.
anyone who buys a song on their phone, pays airtime for the download plus the 2-3 bucks per song has something very wrong with them.

Many of those consumers that pay that are young college students to whom 2-3 dollars is an impulse buy b/c mom & dad are footing the bill.
"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
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"Beware the Jabberwock , my son! The jaws that bite, the claw that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the the frumious Bandersnatch!"

from Jabberwocky, excerpt from Alice through the looking...
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post #12 of 18
Why not make a phone that support's both, unless Apple has applied some sort of limitation there?
post #13 of 18
I think this is a case where the cell carriers and other providers want something that the market doesn't particularly want. Please make slow craptastic music phones that can't work with iTunes!
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post #14 of 18
completely off topic: I just got a pink RAZR!!

somewhat on topic: while iTunes integration would have been a bonus (even with only 100 songs) I really don't care - I have a 5G iPod and its so slim I could probably find a sleeve to fit it AND the RAZR in and carry them both around.

I would NEVER buy a song through my phone. however, storing 100 songs on the phone would be good for car trips when I forget my pod, or going for a run where I will take my phone anyway (and don't have to carry pod as well) . but it would never replace my pod
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by starwxrwx
I would NEVER buy a song through my phone. however, storing 100 songs on the phone would be good for car trips when I forget my pod, or going for a run where I will take my phone anyway (and don't have to carry pod as well) . but it would never replace my pod

You seriously take your phone when you run? Would you really stop running just to talk to somebody?

I'm not trying to be insulting or anything, it just seems really odd to me. My phone is something I specifically don't bring in that situation.
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post #16 of 18
As far as I can see this is part of a last ditch effort for cell providers to squeeze every dime they can out of consumers while their networks are still closed and Internet commerce doesn't operate on their devices outside of their control. Once IP access is commonplace on telephones the carriers will have no say as to who sells what to whom via their devices, and make no money off of it. Would you really want to have to make internet purchases through Earthlink just because they are your ISP? And be locked to your Earthlink branded PC, having to buy a new one if you say went to AOL or Cox or whatever?

If I were a cell carrier I'd be damn quick to jump on an open model and speed the damage control related to customer's realizations that they've been getting the butt end of the shaft for all these years.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Flounder
You seriously take your phone when you run? Would you really stop running just to talk to somebody?

Nope, but if I trip and sprain my ankle, I want to be able to call a cab, at least.
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post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Ouch. You have to wonder why anyone would buy songs on their mobile but then again there's plenty of stupid people out there that pay for ringtones that would jump at the chance to pay 2-3 times the price of the regular iTMS songs.

Consumers are lemmings with short memories; not that long ago, people swore that they would NEVER pay for cable tv if it had commercials, but that didnt stick for 2 minutes when rubber met the road. Our parents generation expected an appliance or electronic device to be durable and of high quality, that is no longer true.

Case in point: we had a repair man out here to my parents home for our Maytag washer last year, he commented that we should continue to fix it and not replace it because the build quality had gone way down, lasting 5 years or so in many cases, ours is over 20 years old and working like new so long as we change the occasional belt.

Case 2: We went through ~3-4 VCRs from 1995-1999 ish, then I got ahold of a really old, 1986-ish VCR and cleaned it up, it is still chuggen along 20 years after its first use!!!

And console CRT TVs...they last for ever too...

Where will those shiny iPods be 20 years from now? where will those plasma TVs be?

We have pretty much become a disposable society with no appreciation for a quality machine, and we have the attention span of a hyperacticve 5 year old on redbull and no-doze

Society pawned off common sence long ago for the promise of the latest DRM-Ridden crap-o-rama.
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