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Motorola Exec Confirms iTunes Phone is Coming

Motorola Exec Confirms iTunes Phone is Coming

by , 7:30 PM EDT, April 20th, 2005

Motorola CEO Ed Zander confirmed that his company would be releasing the long-awaited iTunes-compatible mobile phone in a conference call with analysts Wednesday. Marketwatch reported that Mr. Zander said the phone would be coming out in the next few months. There has been some confusion over whether or not the phone would be released after Motorola canceled its planned release of the phone at the CeBIT trade show as planned in March of 2005.

At issue has been resistance from mobile phone network carriers who want a piece of the iTunes profits because the songs are being transmitted across their digital networks.

"That is where the whole problem lies," Jon Gales, president and chief correspondent for the mobile phone news site told The Mac Observer on March 10th. "Carriers have spent a ton of money building up their data networks and they want people to buy music, just like they buy ring tones, weather forecasts and news now. They don't want people to put music on their phones unless they can make some money out of it. It's just that simple."

Public confirmation from Motorola's chief exec that the phone is coming suggests that these problems may be being worked out.

Motorola has been on a come back in the cell phone industry in the last year, helped in part by the success of its high-end RAZR phone. The company has been leveraging that success during the last few quarters, releasing more stylish phones. To this date, Motorola is the only cell-phone company to whom Apple has licensed iTunes, and both companies hope it will extend their respective reach.

Motorola reported Wednesday sales of US$8.2 billion for the March quarter, and profits of $692 million, or 28 cents a share. This compares with profits of $609 million, or 25 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Marketwatch has additional details on Motorola's cell phone business.

Brad Gibson contributed to this story.

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