Report: Softbank and Apple to co-develop iPod phones

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Softbank Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. plan to jointly develop cellular phone handsets that have built-in iPod digital music players and can download songs directly from Apple's iTunes Music Store, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun is reporting.



According to the report, Softbank President Masayoshi Son and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs have already met and reached a basic agreement on the cell phone partnership.



The two companies will reportedly first develop a 3G cell phone model that incorporate functions reminiscent of Apple's popular iPod, eliminating the need for consumers to carry two separate devices.



"These handsets are to be released in Japan sometime this year at the earliest," the report states.



Softbank, which became a cell phone service provider by acquiring the Japanese unit of British mobile phone company Vodafone Group Plc, was reportedly chosen by Apple because the overseas company plans to offer high-speed Internet access for cell phones in Japan.



Apple plans to later introduce similar media-enabled cell phones in the United States, the report adds. Details such as the fee for downloading songs is said to be up for discussion amongst the two companies at a later date.



The reliability of the report is unknown.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    I knew you'd catch up. I also knew it was "Soft-" something! Good job once again, AI.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,321member
    Sounds awesome!!!
  • Reply 3 of 53
    robin hoodrobin hood Posts: 513member
    I wonder when this phone will be available in the US.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,498member
    This sounds very realistic and will allow Apple to test the waters for this kind of product before rolling it out to the US at some future date... no rush.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    AI said: "The reliability of the report is unknown"



    cheers, more rumors!
  • Reply 6 of 53
    Why does Japan always get the cool stuff first?
  • Reply 7 of 53
    probably because they invent it..



    on a side note--if the rumors were true about the iPhone, then maybe, just maybe a tablet really is being developed!
  • Reply 8 of 53
    fuyutsukifuyutsuki Posts: 293member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mariofreak85

    Why does Japan always get the cool stuff first?



    Typically because their companies are the leaders in the area (which in this iPod related case they most definitely ARE NOT) and Japanese consumers are traditionally gadget obsessed (though with the long term slowdown there and falling sales of Macs this is also far from the case).



    I think this story sounds like BS from a Japanese source. Apple would be mad to screw around with the US market (I'm not American by the way) which is by far and away their most important for Macs and iPods, not to mention a growth market for cellphones while Japan is already at saturation. Japan isn't the place to test the sure fire huge iPhone. However, it's perfectly possible Apple have plans well underway and for the talks mentioned are for the Japanese market which will not be the first.



    So many companies waste their time pushing things onto the Japanese market. Frankly the Japanese economy needs some time to recover. My username might give away that I like Japan by the way so I'm not meaning to bash them.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 911member
    The term "joint development" worries me a bit after Moto. I'm hoping that Apple retains control of the design areas. Definitely time for J Ive to show off his best work!
  • Reply 10 of 53
    wingswings Posts: 261member
    "These handsets are to be released in Japan sometime this year at the earliest"



    Think about that for a minute.



    The earliest that ANYTHING can happen is sometime this year.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    I'm so ready for an Apple iPhone. I hate Nextel.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wings

    "These handsets are to be released in Japan sometime this year at the earliest"



    Think about that for a minute.



    The earliest that ANYTHING can happen is sometime this year.




    haha
  • Reply 13 of 53
    codog24codog24 Posts: 15member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ireland

    AI said: "The reliability of the report is unknown"



    cheers, more rumors!




    I can't imagine Apple would let a major product announcement like this just "slip out" in this fashion. Sounds a little bogus to me, even if the product concept itself is likely to materialize (and I'm sure it is) in the next 12-18 months.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kenaustus

    The term "joint development" worries me a bit after Moto. I'm hoping that Apple retains control of the design areas. Definitely time for J Ive to show off his best work!



    Joint development I'm sure is a must in an already somewhat mature arena such as the mobile phone one. The iPod too is somehow a joint development product remember, with Portal player. But if it means putting an itunes music store into a phone, that's just interesting news business wise... it would be nothing like an Apple phone though.



    An Apple phone would be something extraordinary. All big players are just screwing around producing 10-20 phones a year, and yet no one is good... they're quite frankly just crap almost all of them. Apple could do it Apple style, make just one product in 2 configurations, then release a fresher one next year. Think of the iPod, its basic design has been around since the beginning of iPod, and it's still considered fresh design. Then think of Nokia, they're like "uh.. let's make 20 phones this year with like a 90's futuristic style with lots of crappy details on it.. uh.. and uh... leave the simple user interface we invented in the mid 90's behind us and use a new, slow, crappy 'advanced' one instead.. Yeah!"

    Apple could really contribute on this arena, but I don't think they're ready until next summer at the earliest. And that is if they finally decide it's worth it.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    By the way... How IS the 3G coming in the US?
  • Reply 16 of 53
    deapeajaydeapeajay Posts: 909member
    There is no way that Apple would release a new product in Japan, but not in the US. Give me a break. Have they EVER done that?
  • Reply 17 of 53
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    *****HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?*****



    -----------





    Honda Motors and Apple plan to jointly develop hybrid vehichles that feature a built in iPod digital music player and a Mac mini mounted directly into the vehicles dashboard.



    According to the report, Honda Motors President Kwan Houng and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs have already met and reached a basic agreement on the vehicle/music player/computer partnership.



    The two companies will reportedly first develop a prototype that incorporates functions of Apple's wildly popular iPod and Macinstosh computer systems into the vehicle eliminating the need for customers to purchase three separate devices.



    "These vehicle/music player/computers are to be released in Japan sometime this year at the earliest," the report states.



    Apple plans to later introduce similar vehicles in the United States, the report adds. Details such as the fee for wireless internet and whether the keyboard and mouse will be mounted onto the steering wheel, or if the Mac mini will rely solely on spoken audio commands are said to be up for discussion amongst the two companies at a later date. However, early information indicates that the stereo interface will resemble Apples soon to be released 6G touch-screen iPod video device.



    The reliability of the report is unknown, but if you're reading it, it must be true.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    deapeajaydeapeajay Posts: 909member
    That's another huge problem with this hoax, as Mossberg said, Apple doesn't want to damage teh sales of their lower end iPods by releasing a cell phone that eliminates the need to carry both.



    When apple DOES release a cell phone, whenever that might be (this article gives no clues about that), It will have to be inferior enough to the nano so as not to hurt it's market. Maybe give the nano a touchscreen widescreen with video and that'll work
  • Reply 19 of 53
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DeaPeaJay

    When apple DOES release a cell phone, whenever that might be (this article gives no clues about that), It will have to be inferior enough to the nano so as not to hurt it's market. Maybe give the nano a touchscreen widescreen with video and that'll work



    While I would file this under "hoax", I think that sort of thinking is a little short sighted.



    I understand that the odds are stacked against Apple in a mature market, but I think they are missing their ship if they hold out too long. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the number of music playing phones currently in use exceeded that of number of iPods sold. There will always be people that won't buy a dedicated portable audio player, and as a converged device, it has to be competitive with other converged devices, not made subservient to a different product line, because that is a different market.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DeaPeaJay

    There is no way that Apple would release a new product in Japan, but not in the US. Give me a break. Have they EVER done that?



    Pippin
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