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Apple, Moto, Cingular lined up to launch iTunes phone

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Motorola's highly-anticipated iTunes-equipped mobile phone is expected to make its eagerly awaited debut in seven days' time.

Apple will host a major music-related media event scheduled on 7 September in San Francisco's Moscone Center, and a variety of industry sources are claiming the gig will see the launch of the delayed handset.

Reports also suggest US mobile phone network Cingular will join Apple and Motorola. It will unveil a branded version of the phone, sources say.

Apple and Motorola announced they were co-operating on an iTunes-enabled handset in August 2004. Then, the projected release window was H1 2005, though eager Apple executives later claimed the device would come sooner rather than later.

However, an anticipated CeBIT debut failed to come off, allegedly because Apple wanted to be certain of carrier support before formally launching the device. Motorola, more used to longer-term handset introductions, had its CeBIT stand set up to show the iTunes software, the online iTunes Music Store and the handset. In the end, only the iTunes components made an appearance.

With iPod updates in the works - higher capacity Shuffles, the fifth-generation iPod, plus the much-rumoured Video iPod - Apple may also announce a number of other products. But it could save these for CEO Steve Jobs' Apple Expo Paris keynote later in the month. ®

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