So Much for Mobile Music

Update: I went to pick up the phone at the Cingular store to buy the iTunes phone, but they are only selling it online for now. There goes one impulse buy. Now that I have had a chance to look at the “worst kept secret” on the planet, I will spend my $250 on food and wine. From the looks of it, this is as expected – a disappointment that ranks pretty closely next to all those LG/Samsung music playback phones. Mobiledia has the details on the precise release dates for the ROKR/iTunes phone. iPod Nano looks good, but the question is what will I do with my iPod Mini and iShuffle. I think Apple failed to pry open my wallet this time around. Next!

Cingular is launching iTunes phone, which if you want will allow you to download music for $2 a song. Only a crazy person would do that since a song when downloaded on the computer costs $0.99 a track, and hopefully will be easy to upload onto the phone with a capacity for a whopping 25 tracks. Another shocker – Verizon is improving the admittedly clunky LG VX 8100 so that people can load music on “memory cards” and listen to the tunes. Two news items seemingly unrelated make me wonder if the mobile music service madness that has gripped most carriers is finally coming to an end. Hopefully, for it could be me looking for sanity in middle of you know, insanity.

Reuters quotes Yankee Group analyst Linda Barrabee as saying, “There’s very little room for profits from the full over-the-air download market.” Finally a rational voice!

In Europe, O2 and T-Mobile are also getting jiggy with the iTunes phone. Why? Lance Wilson, ABI Research’s director of wireless research, “We have refined our appraisal of GSM/GPRS/EDGE versus WCDMA. The uptake of WCDMA is not likely to be as rapid as was once thought. It will show good growth, but there is still a lot of life left in GSM.” Oops – not enough customers who can “rapidly download music” on fast networks. Will operators in other countries follow? I hope they do! Between you and I, I get a feeling this iTunes Phone might actually be a bit of a let down.

Video-capable iPod – now that would be nice and worth spending some hard earned dollars on. I cannot wait to load-up three seasons worth of Alias on the mythical Video iPod.


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