Bill Gates: Cell Phones Will Overtake MP3 Players, Calls iPod 'Unsustainable'

A Reuters article published on the ZDNet Web site on Thursday relates an interview with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates that was published in a German newspaper. Heis quoted as saying: "As good as Apple may be, I donit believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run. You can make parallels with computers: Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphics user interface -- like the iPod today -- and then lost its position."

The article quotes Gates as saying that heid "bet on the mobile phone for sure" as the mobile device that will eventually emerge as the best for listening to music. The article also notes that Microsoft is working hard to get its Windows Mobile smart phone software into devices manufactured by nearly 70 companies, a move that the company hopes will make it more competitive in the face of another threat: Research in Motionis ubiquitous BlackBerry.

Gates also told the German publication that, at 50, heis eyeing the day he steps away from the company he helped found. "I think that when someone is 60 years old, he should better leave it to someone else to follow trends in technology. But until then, thereis still a lot to do."