New cellphone has iTunes built in

 作者:邵呸     |      日期:2019-03-02 01:19:07
By Celeste Biever The first cellphone to double-up as an iPod music player went on sale in the US on Wednesday. It was unveiled by Apple at a last-minute, invitation-only press conference in San Francisco. The ROKR, pronounced “rocker”, looks like a normal silver cellphone, weighs just over 1 gram and stores 100 songs and audio-files on a minuscule, removable flash memory card. Files stored using the iTunes music software can be downloaded from a PC by plugging the phone into its USB port. The idea, a joint venture between phone maker Motorola, Apple and US phone service provider Cingular Wireless, is to merge two popular portable devices – the cellphone and the iPod – into one, while adding the capability to listen to music while texting, instant messaging, playing games or web surfing. “Fusing iTunes with your always-with-you mobile phone, the ROKR represents the ultimate convergence of mobile communications and music,” says Ed Zander, chairman and CEO of Motorola. Apple has also released the ultra-slender, flash-memory-based iPod Nano, an MP3 player slimmer than a pencil and capable of storing up to 1000 songs or 25,000 photos. With 2 gigabyte or 4 GB memory options, it is touted as a replacement for the iPod Mini, which comes with either a 4 GB or 6 GB memory, but has a hard drive rather than flash memory. Although phones that play music already exist, experts say ROKR is different because it is the first to offer the easy-to-use iPod interface and the ability to play songs bought on Apple’s iTunes, which currently accounts for the lion’s share of UK and US online music sales. “It has what no other music cellphone has,” says Michael Gartenberg, of Jupiter Research in New York City, US. iTunes enjoys a whopping 80% of the UK market for paid online music downloads, according to the Official UK Charts Company, and a similar share in the US. But phones available until now, such as the brand new Sony-Ericsson W800 and some Microsoft-based smart phones, are only able to play songs bought at other online stores. “Those other phones were the best kept secret in wireless,” says analyst Roger Entner of telecoms consultancy Ovum in Boston, Massachusetts, US. “iTunes gives the technology a ready-made audience.” Many users prefer the iTunes interface for downloading and listening to songs because it is fast, easy and requires no technical knowledge, says New York City-based Peter Rojas of the gadget weblog Engadget.com. “All these aspects positively reinforce each other” while punishing the competition, he says. The device is equipped with a special, and removable, flash memory card known as Transflash. Tim Bajarin, a consumer electronics analyst at Creative Strategies in Campbell, California, US, says this gives Apple the ability to ramp up the memory when the flash technology improves. Transflash is currently used on cellphones to add extra memory for games, ring tones and pictures. ROKR was available on Wednesday online to US customers for $249.99 and Cingular started selling the phone at retail outlets on Thursday. It will be available in the UK, Europe, Australia and Asia from mid-September,