Motorola Calls on ITunes

Users of some Motorola mobile phones will be able to purchase songs from Apple Computer's ITunes service to store and listen to on the phone, leaders of the two companies announced this week.

New, advanced Motorola mobile phones will be able to carry about a dozen ITunes songs downloaded from a PC or Macintosh starting in the first half of next year, says Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, who appeared via videoconference at an address by Motorola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Zander in Rosemont, Illinois. The event, on the eve of Motorola's financial analyst conference, was monitored via Web cast.

Apple will develop an ITunes mobile music player application that Motorola will use as the standard music software on mass-market music phones expected in next year's first half, according to Motorola. Users will be able to download songs from the ITunes jukebox on a Mac or PC, including songs purchased from the ITunes service, and transfer them to a Motorola music phone via USB or Bluetooth.

Upcoming Devices

Zander used the event to demonstrate several Motorola devices coming by the end of this year, including a combination Wi-Fi and cell phone designed to give employees a single work phone to use both in the office and outside. The company is set to announce on Tuesday a system to enable this functionality.

He also showed phones playing an MPEG4 feature film, live TV, and a videoconference. Zander capped off the event by unveiling a phone called Razor, which he touted as the next-generation phone from Motorola that will create a sensation similar to the StarTac pocket-size clamshell phone that came out in 1996. The clamshell Razor weighs 3.35 ounces, has a digital camera and a 2.2-inch display, can use MP3 music ringtones, and will ship "everywhere" in time for this year's holiday shopping season, Zander said.

The Tuesday announcement will follow on from Monday's event in emphasizing mobility between office, car, home, and outdoors, with various entertainment and information capabilities available wherever the user may be. In what was probably the most far-out example of this theme--a technology still in Motorola's lab--an RFID chip carried by Zander signaled his presence to a home entertainment system, a car stereo, an office PC, and a mobile phone. As he moved from one to the other, each played the same song, picking up where the last device left off with little or no interruption.

Zander also demonstrated a home video recorder with a 120GB hard drive that recorded two live broadcasts over cable TV while showing a prerecorded program.

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