Feeds

Moto's iTunes phone - please try again later

Carriers want a cut

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Motorola has unexpectedly delayed plans to unveil a mobile phone that ships with a version of Apple's iTunes, and not so subtly blamed the networks for the hold-up. Announced last July, bullish comments from Motorola management before Xmas raised expectations that the handset would ship sooner rather than later.

But at CeBIT today, a Motorola source told The Register that the phone would be launched when the carriers give their approval. Despite the handset's absence, Moto was happy to promote Apple's iTunes Music Store on its stand, under a "Here! Music Downloads" banner...

The excitement about the deal, and recent front-page prominence given to the recent flurry of such agreements, is offset by a range of issues which continue to bedevil all the participants - on the technology and entertainment interests - and which are no nearer resolution than they were a year ago. The Motorola handset syncs with PC or Mac iTunes, but executives stressed at the time of the original announcement that it wouldn't support over the air (OTA) downloads. That's no surprise, as even with today's 3G networks, the capacity isn't really here yet to support a mass market. Network operators would prefer you to sample and buy songs much like ringtones today, only with with the download being sent to a PC. In addition, the carriers could use their expensive high street presence to install proximity servers to give passing customers instant gratification.

The upside of this approach is that the model gives them a cut of the transaction revenue the downside is that in a market which leaves just a few pennies for all but the recording rights holders, that cut of the transaction revenue will be keenly fought over. What terrifies the biggest recording rights holders isn't what they say in public - "piracy" - so much as the loss of their distribution channels.

At 3GSM in Cannes last month Microsoft and Nokia partnered to offer what they claim will be slick and seamless DRM downloads to Nokia phones. It's significant in that it doesn't (as we originally thought) involve transcoding, but is a dual-stack approach which sees Microsoft support OMA and AAC codecs within WMP, and Nokia supporting Windows Windows Media 10 DRM and MTP on its phones. Loudeye will build the stores. This in itself doesn't guarantee smooth synchronization (not one of either Nokia or Microsoft's historical strengths) but it should assure people that they'll be able to play the media - DRM notwithstanding.

Last week, Sony Ericsson revived the ancient Walkman brand for its first serious "music phone". So the non-Apple world is gradually getting its act into shape, and Motorola can't afford to rest on its laurels. ®

Tony Smith, reporting from CeBIT 2005, contributed to this report.

Related stories

Sony Ericsson preps Walkman phone
French consumer group sues Apple, Sony
Apple music store smacked with antitrust suit
Apple talks up mid-range Motorola 'iPod phone'
Napster beams songs to Windows smart phones
MS, Apple pitch music at mobile phone makers
Nokia moves to counter Apple-Moto music alliance
Apple - Moto iPhone deal full of promise...
Apple licenses iTunes to Motorola
Symbian founder on mobile past, present and future

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.