Why did Apple, the best design innovators around today, let Motorola turn out a badly designed, stan

From: visiongain
Published: Thu Sep 22 2005

Fans of Apple's iPod have been awaiting the arrival of the much-heralded iTunes phone. The Motorola ROKR (pronounced Rocker) has been much hyped as the first involvement of Apple in the mobile phone industry, but anyone expecting an iPod phone will be severely disappointed.

The iPod is noted for its stylish, modern design and this instantly recognisable appearance is a major factor in consumer loyalty to the brand. However, the Motorola iTunes phone is visually disappointing. Based on the existing E398, the ROKR is bland and uninspiring, especially given the success of Motorola's much-lauded RAZR.

However, this might not be to Apple's detriment. Whilst the ROKR has been touted as the first iPhone, it is in fact the first handset containing iTunes (the Apple programme that can play, organise and buy music files and is used on the iPod). Coupled with the design issues is the fact that only 100 iTunes songs can be stored at any one time and the tracks cannot be used as ringtones. The difference is clear - the Motorola ROKR is the first step towards iPod-like handsets, but it is not competition for Apple's own product line.

As if to further emphasise this, far more media attention has been lavished on Apple's recently released Nano - the latest addition to the iPod family. Essentially, the ROKR is a no-lose situation for Apple. With the iTunes functionality, Apple benefits from users at its iTunes store, whilst the ROKR shows that serious music playing handsets are not yet comparable in performance to the iPods. Similarly, Motorola benefit from being the first to market an Apple approved music playing handset, while operators benefit from the iTunes functionality not replacing their lucrative ringtone downloads.

Perhaps the only loser is the consumer. Basically, due to the various participants' unwillingness to risk their core businesses, the hope of a converged mobile device is left as a dream, leaving only an average mobile handset with MP3 functionality.

If Mobile Music is your area of interest, why not have a look at the visiongain's Mobile Music Downloads report.

Company: visiongain
Contact Name: Corporate Communications
Contact Email: press@visiongain.com
Contact Phone: +44 (0)20 87676711

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