iTunes Phone Not Announced; Coming in Next "66 Days" (UPDATE)

A much anticipated Motorola mobile phone with the ability to play music from Appleis iTunes music service was not announced at a planned press event Monday, but instead will debut at an exclusive showing sometime in the next 66 days, a Motorola executive said.

Before a packed crowd of reporters, Motorola CEO Ed Zander began the event by announcing, "Weire not going to launch the iTunes phone today."

Mr. Zander then read a prepared statement explaining when the phone would debut, but giving little reason for the continuing delay of a mobile product that has been talked about for a year.

"(Apple CEO) Steve Jobs is not going to jump out of a cake (today)," Mr. Zander quipped. "And weire not going to launch it tomorrow. But on one of the 66 days left in the quarter -- weire not saying which one yet -- Apple, Motorola and our biggest operator partners around the world will announce and ship the first iTunes phone."

Mr. Zander went on to say that the iTunes-ready cellular phone will be "the best music phone in the business" and "will ship before our competitors."

The Motorola exec acknowledged that music on mobile phones, "will be the next big experience, the next big thing" and said the announcement of the first phone with iTunes capability was so big "it deserves an event of its own."

After countless rumors and what has appeared over the past seven months to be delays in its announcement, Mr. Zander guaranteed that the iTunes-ready phone is not a ghost. "Itis real and itis happening," he said. "Stayed tuned for iTunes."

Zander ended the statement by saying, "I donit want to hear any more about (the iTunes phone) for the next day or so."

Motorola strikes at Blackberry with "Q"

What Motorola did unveil Monday was a ultra thin mobile phone (see photo below) that includes a keyboard, taking direct aim at Research in Motion, Ltd. and its Blackberry, an all-in-one, handheld, e-mail and mobile phone device, as well as Palm Inc. and its handheld Treo devices.

The Q is Motorolais answer to competing product such as the Blackberry and Treo.

The "Q" is based on the ultra-thin design of its popular Razr phone and includes a 320 x 240 pixel, high-resolution color display and a 1.3 mega pixel digital camera. The phone is about 50% thinner than its competitors, Motorola said, and runs on Microsoftis Windows Mobile 5.0. It is optimized for Microsoft Exchange 2003 and a variety of third party email solutions, the company said.