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iPod Killer (-1, Troll)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673019)

Finally a true iPod killer that can also be used as mobile phone.

Creative must be kicking itself now.

iPod killer? Unlikely. (5, Interesting)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673061)

Not quite sure how this would be an ipod killer. It only has 32mb of internal memory and supports up to 512mb of additional memory. I can't really see cellphone/mp3 player combo devices really taking off until they start to have storage capabilities similar to an ipod mini.

That being said, I'm not sure I see downloadable music on your cellphone EVER taking off because once you've got tons of storage (and tons of your music) why would you spend the time (or money) downloading more through your phone. Where I think a device like this could become popular is if service providers offered streaming radio. This seems much more possible now with 3g networks taking off.

Re:iPod killer? Unlikely. (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673265)

At 512MB it would compete with the $99 iPod shuffle except you'd have to buy your own 512MB flash card for an unknown price (website says TransFlash, sounds proprietary). If this phone is compatible with the iTunes music store it would have to sync with iTunes on a PC or Mac just like an iPod shuffle. This is a do-it-all combo device to save you from carrying 4 or 5 separate gadgets. There's a flash MP3 player, a 1.3M pixel digital camera (nothing special but better than most camera phones), a VGA camera for videoconferencing (not one! two cameras!), a streaming audio/video player, and probably enough calendar and phonebook features to save you from carrying a PDA.

Re:iPod killer? Unlikely. (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673542)

Ahh, I had an idea. What if you could combine the cell phone with something like the iPod for a sort of mobile internet radio? Perhaps the option to save the stream on your media player while listening to it? That's something I've always loved - the ability to be able to download a stream off of the internet on to my computer. Hey, I'm just thinking of listening to Di.FM on the go, with TiVo style support.

Re:iPod killer? Unlikely. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673544)

So long as the [inevitable] DRM allows you to copy the files to your PC once you get home, and/or you can get the file sent to your collection at home as well, and I had enough bandwidth to rapidly download songs to my converged phone/music player, I would certainly buy songs while I was on the go. You want to listen to music when you want to listen to it, not just later. It would fulfill the desire for instant gratification. I could actually do all this stuff on my phone now, as it supports mp3 music files and JAVA/MIDP (with filesystem access supposedly, though I cannot find any documentation - you have to sign your applets to get privileges like that) but I would have to download at GPRS speeds, and my phone only has about 5.1MB of free storage after the basic files that are always on the mobile. I could remove some of them (like lame ringtones) and get another half meg maybe... Barely enough for one song at decent quality.

Re:iPod Killer (1)

hashish (62254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673092)

How is this a iPod killer? It would compete in Handsprings/PalmOne's Treo domain.

The really only thing new here is iTunes support, but then with the lack of real storage I would not think that this is a huge benefit over it competition.

Re:iPod Killer (2, Insightful)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673249)

512mb storage and (possibly) up to 1gb on an SD card? I can see it competing with the iPod Shuffle.
This phone is useful to me because I usually have a cell phone, while my iPod is mainly for my drive into work and while at work. To have a 5 hours worth of music with me at all times would really make the time I spend waiting in line, at appointments, etc, move faster. You can't always carry an iPod, even a Shuffle, but you can usually have your phone with you.

Re:iPod Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673137)

don't you know a flaming troll when you see one?

404 File Not found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673027)

First 404 File Not Found Post

The requested URL (apple/05/02/14/2218206.shtml?tid=100&tid=215&tid= 181&tid=141&tid=3) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

Opera (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673045)

Will it run Opera?

Wow... (4, Interesting)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673054)

Is it just me or has motorola really made a come back with their industrial design? This unit looks great!

Some initial questions:
- Is there any word on what the iTunes interface looks like?
- Do we know what kind of removable memory it has? (What is TransFlash??)
- Will it DRM the music files so you can't transfer them back over bluetooth (is it a one-way sync?)
- Is the Bluetooth 2.0?

Re:Wow... (2, Interesting)

Kplusplus (617856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673106)

We must be looking at different phones. The RAZR is great for it's featureset and form factor, but this thing is the same old lump of a phone that everything else comes in.

I would really like to know how this is a RAZR succesor.

Re:Wow... (1)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673123)

It's just you. This thing if uglier then my pet monkey's butt. IMO...

Well, at least now we know that apple's ID dept had NOTHING to do with this...

Re:Wow... (4, Informative)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673331)

- Do we know what kind of removable memory it has? (What is TransFlash??)

TransFlash is a removable flash memory format designed by SanDisk specifically for Motorola at their request. It's used in about 3-5 Motorola phones now, I think, and absolutely nowhere else. It's thin enough and small enough that you could lose it and not even realize it's gone for weeks until you need it. It's about the size as my pinky fingernail, and almost as thin. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities aside from being so insanely small that Motorola can stick a slot into their phones and say they support removable media without actually allocating serious space for it. It's FAR less useful than SD or CF, the only worthwhile removable flash media format (IMHO).

Now, in their defense, Motorola assumes that most people will put one card in their phone and leave it forever, except maybe once or twice when they replace it with a bigger one and then leave that one in forever, like a hard drive. That's probably a valid assumption, but still having a proprietary format has all the associated problems with being proprietary (no competition so high prices, can't swap between devices, etc. etc. etc.)

Why? (5, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673058)

I must be a dying breed... I want my phone to make calls with, I want my iPod to listen to music too, and now you guys are blurring the lines again... Stop it... I can see it now... in a year, I'll have an iPod that does PDA stuff, plays music, is a cell phone, has a 10 megapixel camera in it, and opens my garage door.

Why can't I have a phone that just works as a phone... and an Mp3 player that just plays music, nothing else? I thought apple was going in the right direction with the shuffle... it's small, and does just one thing... play music... is that too much to ask of phones?

Re: Keeping the quarterly numbers up (5, Interesting)

polyhue (38042) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673082)

I think when you're trying to keep prices up and keep sales volume up, yes it might be too much to ask. I agree though, it's harder and harder to find a decent mobile phone that works well as a phone, first and foremost. Often you have to buy some super-fancy decked out version just to get a decent phone, but pay a huge premium for 45 features you don't want or need. Well, here's your market opening... get out the soldering gun.

Re: Keeping the quarterly numbers up (2, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673112)

I think when you're trying to keep prices up and keep sales volume up, yes it might be too much to ask. I agree though, it's harder and harder to find a decent mobile phone that works well as a phone, first and foremost. Often you have to buy some super-fancy decked out version just to get a decent phone, but pay a huge premium for 45 features you don't want or need. Well, here's your market opening... get out the soldering gun.

Wait... you said a decent phone... I can't make a decent phone... if multi-billion dollar companies can't make one, how on earth could I make one? Short of buying one of theirs and frying all the 45 extra features I didn't want... hmmm... I think you're on to something... :P

Re: Keeping the quarterly numbers up (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673434)

The OP is a troll. You can find PLENTY of phones that are not stacked with features. You would be hard pressed to find one without a web browser, but that's just software. It's trivial to get phones without bluetooth, with no camera, without a case designed primarily for easy housing replacement, without a joystick, et cetera. YHBT. HTH, HAND.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

path_man (610677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673138)

Mod parent up!! -- this might be "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." but the main thing we nerds want is STUFF THAT WORKS.

The best example of the converged device that STILL isn't worth a damn is the all-in-one printer which faxes, scans, copies, and prints... not a one of those does it do well. Oh, and by the way, with phones you have the added problem of low price, battery life, portability, and god forbid, if I lose the damn thing I don't want the be SOL because all the stuff I use (mp3 players, PDA, phone, etc.) is missing.

As usual, the manufacturers have created a solution without a problem. I have yet to hear somone at the gym say "Boy, I'd sure like my music player ring and have all my calendar/contact information as well". These things are a solution looking for a problem

You aren't looking at the problem right (4, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673358)

I, for one, welcome the chance to have an MP3 player on my phone. Why? Because I don't want to carry 4 portable devices. 1 phone, 1 camera, 1 MP3 player, and one palm pilot. That's effectively what I want and it's what the Treo 600 and 650 give me. Well actually no, I don't really want the camera, but I can't get a high end phone these days without it so I'll deal for now.

Frankly, I'm going to spend the money on the phone, and I like having a portable entertainment and workstation on my hip at all times, which is what it is. I can take care of simple work tasks just from that phone, and i can entertain myself very easily while waiting or traveling. The Mp3 player doesn't store that many songs and i need a memory card, but hell I don't carry with me that many Mp3s! I'm never going to fill up a 10,000 song player... or even a 1,000 song one.

Just because you don't want one doesn't mean other people don't. So far the only thing I don't like about those phones are the cameras. Everything else does in fact work great.

Re:Why? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673384)

My phone already is excellent for making calls.

If I can get a phone that has a good 2+ megapixel camera, an mp3 player, an NES emulator and a blender, and priced decently, I'll buy it.

Not all products are about solutions to problems. Integration isn't a problem, just a convienence. A Camera-phone isn't solving anything, but it sure is making the act of carrying not only a camera, but also a way to transmit said images, easier. A camera-music player-phone probably isn't going to revolutionize things, but it's a convience I wouldn't mind having.

Re:Why? (3, Funny)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673399)

Also, bear in mind, the target marget for this device have never seen the inside of this "gym" you speak of.

Re:Why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673411)

Phones don't have a low price problem. Carriers subsidize the cost of the phone to provide a low perceived price. In actuality, EVERY customer of a carrier is helping pay for those phones; If everyone upgraded their phone every year when they're eligible, they would cost more. My Motorola V300 is like a $320 phone if you buy it from Motorola, but it's $50 from T-Mobile on new activations. It's really not a $50 device.

Anyway, just because YOU are not the target market doesn't mean the rest of us want to carry around a bunch of separate devices to get all this stuff done. I WANT my phone to do IM, Web Browsing, calendaring, and complete contact management; I want to play MIDI ringtones, take pictures, and run Java MIDlets.

The cellphone is a really SHITTY example of a poorly designed converged device, because there are so many examples of it being done right. Most of them are from Motorola, and cost more than/have less features than the Nokias, but are actually well built. If you buy crap, you get crap. My V300 is absolutely fantastic and does everything as well as you would expect, even if you didn't have preconceived notions that all so-called smartphones are crap. My V300 is an absolutely fantastic phone and does everything well, except take pictures, which it does better than other phones. It also has better reception than the "dumb" phone with the tiny mono screen that it replaced. It does have slightly less battery life, but as an upper primate I am able to connect it with power in the evening, or sometimes in the morning if I forget.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Hoch (603322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673541)

Not to hate, but I have played around with my friends' V300's, and compared to my much less converged nokia 3100, they suck. They are slow, the camera takes bad pictures, and from what i can tell the user interface is designed to be confusing. Yea, integration could be good, but when the choice is between a product that works well and a poorly designed one, I will buy the one that works well.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673547)

also has better reception than the "dumb" phone with the tiny mono screen that it replaced

And this would be the point of the discussion, from my POV.

Where is the phone that can stand on it's own and say

"I am a kickass phone, I get better reception that the cheap alternatives to the model containing a spare kitchen sink, my batteries last 3 months on standby or 48 hours of talk. I was designed to be a better phone, not a better way to carry eight devices in your pocket ! "

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673190)

Less stuff to schlep around. If one gadget can function as an i-Pod, cell phone, PDA, and digital camera, that's less to carry.

Of course, to be truly useful, it must do all the functions well. I personally don't see the point of the camera-phone combo, but that's mainly because they aren't especially good cameras, and I don't need a camera with me all the time anyhow.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673222)

True, but carrying a ton of garbage in your pockets can be VERY annoying... and that's what industrial designers are trying to solve. My pants are full of ridiculous garbage. My Costanza sized wallet, my keys, my phone, my iPod, headphones, my pen drive, a ton of change, and, as I recall, some testicles buried some place in there.

I think a media player / camera / phone isn't a bad idea... if it were done properly. And no one has really done it properly... yet.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673259)

My pants are full of ridiculous garbage.
Too much information, pal.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673325)

Get yourself a surplus ammo belt. Lot of little Batman-style utility pouches for storing your gear. On the plus side, you don't have to worry about a hole in your pocket creating a situation where half of your life disappears. On the downside, the ammo-belt definitely does not go with suits. For that, you'll need a holster rig...

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673226)

I bought a Motorola v180 [google.com] for $80 cash -- you can get it for free or less (really!) with a contract. It's a phone. It's small, lightweight, durable to the point where you don't panic if you drop it, and it has a readable color screen.

It even has a USB port if you want to hack it. It does not, however, have a substantial PDA (basic phone book and datebook), have a camera, play MP3s (as far as I could tell), or do any other fancy stuff.

Nobody's forcing you to buy a camera phone. And if the v180 is too ritzy for you, T-Mobile offers a Nokia 6010 [nokiausa.com] for even less money.

You can get a phone with no features if you really want. Quit this "I just want a phone that makes phone calls" bitching.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673307)

I'll stop bitching when I can get a decent phone without the extras. You are correct I can get one, but they are all cheap pieces of crap. The phone manufacturers want you to buy the newer model, the service provider wants to sell you more service. The two entities make the simple phone a very unattractive proposition.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673351)

Depends on what you mean by "decent." If you want to pay big dollars to get a lot of PDA features, then you're going to get a camera. A camera costs a phone maker maybe a couple of dollars -- are you really that frugal to demand that your $400 high-end phone cost $390 so it won't have a camera in it*?

If you really want a good organizer, buy one and carry it alongside your piece of crap phone. Phone manufacturers don't make $200 organizer-phones because carriers don't want to sell them because consumers don't want to buy them. (Really, consumers don't. Geeks aren't numerous or frugal enough to support the organizer-phone market.)

* Sprint and other carriers sell camera-less Treos to address the "but my workplace banned camera phones problem." Alas, they charge the same amount for one without a camera as for one with a camera.

Both divergence and convergence make sense (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673242)

Convergence makes sense because there is such a huge overlap between the guts of most mobile devices. All cameras, PDAs, phones, MP3 players need CPU + RAM + flash + battery. By combining these you only need one set to support all the functionality and makes for one lump of stuff in your pocket.

Divergence makes sense because some people just want a phone that does the phone function well. I don't really care for carrying around a shitty camera. I don't use a PDA. I don't like music. I therefore bought me a Nokia 1100 phone. Dumb as a rock phone with BW screen no bluetooth etc. Small, cheap and lasts for a month on a single charge (my mileage). When I do carry a digital camera, I want pretty good photos and carry a real digital camera.

If you look at hunting knives, you'll see a wide spectrum of just-a-blade knives to Swiss Army (does everything, but not very well). I expect that phone vendors will continue to mnake just-a-phone, but the incremental addition of a MP3 player etc is getting cheaper and adds a bunch of functionality (as well as a way to sell services), so the richer feature set will continue to grow too.

Re:Both divergence and convergence make sense (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673404)

Convergence doesn't make sense to me.

I don't want to loan my phone when I loan my camera.
I don't want to delete my music library from my mp3 player when I need to move a large file on my portable hard drive.
I don't want to lose my PDA when my six-year-old drops my Game Boy.
I don't want to have to put my entire life on hold when one device is charging.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673271)

That's how I feel. Especially since I buy devices specifically for certain tasks.

My main gripe is that these features that are added to these devices are done half-assed, so to speak. Sure, the Palm series of handhelds (and the various pocketPCs) do the PDA thing damn-good, but when you wanna watch video/listen to music, they don't really have the storage for them... and when you wanna play games, they don't really have the hand-control.

That's why I bought an iPod, so I have the storage for my music.

That's why I bought my DS and my PSP, so I have something taylored towards games.

That's why I bought a digital camera, so I have something to take pictures with that's got decent quality.

It'll be a different story when my Cell phone has a 40GB harddrive in it and is still this tiny little thing, then sure, maybe I'll leave my iPod at home. Or when my iPod has a full-front, high res, bright, color touch-screen with a stylus that can play decent quality video and is a full-featured PDA, then I'll have that device.

When they add features to devices just for the sake of adding features, it gets wasted on the people who have a pocket full of devices.

I'd pay 600$ for the iPod I spoke of earlier. Hell, if they put that nice aluminum oxide coating on the screen to prevent scratches, that'd be even better, and if they decide to make it a cell phone, too, I could finally get rid of my Nokia 8265 (it's like 4 years old).

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673272)

Every time we talk about cell phones, the highest modded post is a version of the one I'm replying to. Don't want new features? Fine, stick with your old phone. Or, buy a used one. Or, buy a new one that doesn't have all the bells and whistles (yes you can still find simple phones in ample supply). Plus, Some of us would like to carry fewer gadgets in our pockets.

I thought this was Slashdot, a gatehring of people excited about new technology. Why do we mod up people who want to live in the past?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673279)

I am on the same boat. It always beat me how a camera is related to a cell phone.

What's the point of putting a half arsed camera whose lense will be full of dirt in a matter of days and that will take photos that one will be ashamed of showing to anyone, other than to show off that "we can even put a camera inside a cellphone, see..."?

Re:Why? (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673301)

Why? Because phone companies give away the phone to sell the insanely priced data services.

And in this case, the real cost is cell towers, which odds are cannot be built near you because noone wants one in their back yard.

So, two words: LAND LINE. Get one of the 3cents/min AT&T cards, and guess what, it works perfectly. Plus, you wont be killed on the roads as often.

Re:Why? (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673342)

I think there's always going to be both... i mean me personally I do not like the idea of a pda, cell, and mp3 player hanging off my belt. i have a treo that does all 3 at a level i'm happy with. but for those that want "just a phone" or "just an mp3 player" i think there will always be a market for that too.

Obviously not Apple designed (1, Troll)

Kplusplus (617856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673060)

It's just about the ugliest phone I've ever seen.

Plus it's not shiny white plastic or a grey metal shell.

Re:Obviously not Apple designed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673143)

"I'm one of those Mac people that will break a bottle on the bar and hold it to your throat for bad-mouthing my system" That makes you a special kind of idiot.

Re:Obviously not Apple designed (0, Redundant)

Kplusplus (617856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673230)

Lol, I don't see how this is a troll, It's true. This phone is super ugly, especially coming from the same company that made the RAZR. I mean come on, let's be honest, that phone looks awful.

cool... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673063)

...but can i install Debian + X + GNOME on it then do a suitcase mod and carry that around with me ?

No RAZR iTunes? (1)

ablair (318858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673077)

Too bad Moto isn't including iTunes support in their awesome (though expensive) RAZR phone or at least across most of their high-end mobiles. Moto also states that they will be compatible with non-iTMS [com.com] offerings such as Real as well, so it's not an exclusive.

iTunes? (2, Interesting)

Geekenstein (199041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673079)

Ok, so maybe it supports AAC, but the songs that come from the iTunes Music Store have DRM protection in them, and Windows Media Player definitely won't support that format. So sure, you can copy your own songs encoded by iTunes into AAC, but why use AAC if it isn't DRM'd?

Re:iTunes? (4, Informative)

outZider (165286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673115)

No, no. Nokia is using Windows Media Player. Motorola is using iTunes software, so it supports DRM'd AAC as well as the other formats. :)

Re:iTunes? (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673193)

I wonder, though, if one of these counts as an activation for iTunes (I'm thinking you have to auth it in a manner similar to a computer, as otherwise you could just grab music from anyone's iTMS purchases and put them on there)

Re:iTunes? (1)

dtfarmer (548183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673533)

I wonder, though, if one of these counts as an activation for iTunes

I would assume these phones would count more like an iPod - authorizing and linking to only 1 computer at a time, but until they are released it's all just speculation.

Re:iTunes? (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673118)

I believe the whole deal is that it DOES support iTunes encrypted AAC. Otherwise it would just be an mpeg4 audio file.

Re:iTunes? (2, Interesting)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673122)

Ok, so maybe it supports AAC, but the songs that come from the iTunes Music Store have DRM protection in them, and Windows Media Player definitely won't support that format. So sure, you can copy your own songs encoded by iTunes into AAC, but why use AAC if it isn't DRM'd?

Yeah, I'm not exactly clear how it supports iTMS PlayFair DRM either. The linked article mentions only MPEG4, not iTunes, so it is quite a leap to assume that this phone is the iTunes mobile phone that Apple and Motorola have been talking about.

Not only that, did anyone else think the designers of this phone took too many cues from the Xbox? It's ugly, black and green, and I can't imagine Steve Jobs would be caught dead putting iTunes mobile on a device so hideous looking.

Re:iTunes? (1)

neier (103246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673526)

FairPlay is tied to the computer, not the portable devices. AFAIK, you can sync as many iPods (and soon, phones) as you want, to any one of the five(?) computers which are authorized to play your purchased iTunes tracks.

Via the disc functionality, you can copy protected song files on/off an iPod at will; but, they will not play unless they were loaded via iTunes. I suspect it will be the same for these phones.

Great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673087)

I noticed that the Motorola phone supports MPEG 4 and WMV. Unless those are typos, now you'll be able to chat with friends OR watch movies while driving! I can't wait.

Keyboard? (3, Insightful)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673091)

No QWERTY? Won't that limit all that instant messaging and e-mailing you could do with it, and before someone tells me about the size being a consideration you should check out my phone: the Motorola A630 [motorola.com]. Small does not mean no keyboard.

Re:Keyboard? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673493)

Nice link, Motorola seems to have removed the images of the phone opened up. WAs it that way when you linked it, or did you even check?

Another... (3, Insightful)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673098)

Another day, another useless piece of gadgetry. 2005 is turning out to be another year in which the electronics industry as a whole adds to its products useless features, and expects (sensibly) consumers to lap it up and beg for seconds.

Re:Another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673239)

Thanks to people like you, we don't get the truely good gadgets make it to the US, they pass us by and end up in Europe.

Re:Another... (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673250)

I wish there was some imagination in the convergences. Can we please get a watch with a phone built in, instead of always putting a clock on a phone ? Lets try getting the equipments off the belt or out of the pockets and back into some sort of style.

'bout time (2, Insightful)

nborders (574461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673100)

Man this took them forever. Call me a simple developer, however how hard can it be to add some more flash memory, better sound output through a headset, and modify the hardware to read MP3s. I've been pissed at the phone industry for nearly 2 years for not doing this. ~n

Re:'bout time (3, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673400)

" Man this took them forever. Call me a simple developer, however how hard can it be to add some more flash memory, better sound output through a headset, and modify the hardware to read MP3s. I've been pissed at the phone industry for nearly 2 years for not doing this."

It's not the first phone with those features, by far. My somewhat old Sony Ericsson K700i [sonyericsson.com] has ~ 40MB of memory and plays MP3s with good quality. I don't use it as an MP3 player in the traditional sense, but I use MP3 files as ringtones, much to the chagrin of the people around me. The FM radio has been surprisingly useful as well.

It's not easy to find in the US, but it's available online. I got an unlocked model on my last trip to Asia. A trip to Asia is a great way to remind one's self of how utterly backward the US mobile phone market is.

Re:'bout time (1)

nborders (574461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673441)

Yea, I read about that one Last year. It was hella' expensive, but tops on my list.

Man, I still can't believe how behind we are in this country with cell phone technology. I'm afraid the same thing will happen with city-wide WiFi.


From the Cell-Phones-Aren't-Noisy-Enough Dept. (2, Funny)

Mitaphane (96828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673109)

I won't be satisfied with cell phones until mine has a boombox attached to the side of it. When that day comes I'll truly reach the pinnacle of bling-bling.

Re:From the Cell-Phones-Aren't-Noisy-Enough Dept. (1)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673322)

"I won't be satisfied with cell phones until mine has a boombox attached to the side of it. When that day comes I'll truly reach the pinnacle of bling-bling."

Sign up for our new SuperLeet package and you're Home Area is no less than the Milky Way, with 432000 minutes every month!

Act now and we'll give you your choice of free BlingBing 340 or BoomBox 335 phones. Add an extra line to the package and you'll also receive the Nagging Wife 1.0 and Screaming Child 2.3 software packages.

Re:From the Cell-Phones-Aren't-Noisy-Enough Dept. (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673324)

There are "boomboxes" with iPod docks on them... cellphone/boombox isn't too far off, I'm afraid.

or, alternatively... (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673153)

Interestingly, Motorola is not locking themselves into Apple's iTunes, but also support Real Player.

Or, alternatively, "Interestingly, Nokia has locked themselves into Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Motorola has not done so"

...or how about, "Interestingly, the device will support a wide number of formats"?

Really getting tired of slanted stories.

It's pretty big news that the Motorola device supports stuff other than WMP formats. Why? Because generally MS contracts for that sort of thing go as follows: "License WMP, get the technology really, really cheap, get lots of support from us, we'll practically write it all for you. Now, dump everything else, or the deal's off." Motorola told 'em to go screw.

Re:or, alternatively... (4, Informative)

Humorously_Inept (777630) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673413)

Actually, Nokia has not locked itself into anything. Current models support MP3/WAV/AAC/AMR on the audio front and MPEG-4/H.263 on the video front, and Real formats as well.

The only value in this press release is the word "iTunes." Everything else has already been done by the competiton.

Re:or, alternatively... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673454)

Or, alternatively, "Interestingly, Nokia has locked themselves into Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Motorola has not done so"

Do you spread lies because you're an Apple zealot?

Nokia hasn't [nokia.com] locked themselves to Microsoft:
Played formats (decoding): .3gp and .mp4 file formats, MPEG-4 video, H.263 video and AMR audio, RealMedia (Real Video and Real Audio), MP3, and AAC

Re:or, alternatively... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673466)

If you're tired of slanted stories, you should NEVER read ANY news from ANY source. They are ALL slanted, it doesn't matter if it comes from News Corp. or from Reuters, Ltd.

$oblig_comment-[25}{subject} (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673175)

Why do they keep putting the features of $comment{device1} into $comment{device2}? I just want my $comment{device1} to do $comment{device1_function}. Next thing you know, my $comment[25]{simple_device} will have $comment[25]{outrageous_feature}.

Did you get that feeling too? (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673262)

Am I getting younger, or do I detect the Old Man Syndrome squeezing itself into the discussion?

Really, I have said before that I get annoyed with all the stuff they attempt to put into a phone, but one of the main reasons most folks got into connectivity technology was to communicate in innovative ways.

I'm going to keep an open mind with this coupling. Who knows where I might find a use for this. What about Books on Tape "On Tap"? Downloadable audio books from a favorite author?

Re:Did you get that feeling too? (1)

AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673403)

I'm definitely feeling crotchety at the moment. Why can't i just have a number of devices, each of which does 1 thing, and does it better than anything else? i mean, this moto only has the OPTION of 544 megs of memory, with only 32 built in...
Why should I buy this phone instead of a shuffle and a RAZR?
I suppose I would definitely want 1 ugly device rather than 2 beautifully designed devices, if nothing else...

Step 1: build integrated ugly cellphone/ugly mp3 player
Step 2: ?
Step 3: PROFIT!!!!

Getting closer... (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673204)

Now add in game-playing and decent PDA functionality (PalmOS, ideally), and this is the all-in-one gadget to rule the world.

More storage would be nice, as would more megapixels, but I'm definitely planning on getting one to replace my V60 and Palm Pilot and use as a second iPod.

Boo! (-1, Flamebait)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673233)

Don't buy it! No iTunes! Let me choose from what shop I want to buy. This is monopolization, and I shall not support it!

Re:Boo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673452)

RTFA, hell, RTF description at the top of the page.

Killer App for Music Phones (4, Interesting)

blamanj (253811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673240)

The way to make money with music-enabled cell phones is this.

1) Make sure you can sync with your computer (e.g., iTunes)
2) Keep the airtime charge for download low (music biz to subsidize?)
3) Work with the radio stations so that when they play a new release they can also say, "And dial *1592 with your iTunes phone to buy and download this song now"

Instant gratification + low end user cost = profit

Where's my OGG support? (2, Insightful)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673273)

Really? I want my OGG support! Plus, sticking it in a product like this might get some more users of it, and make it just a little more used (another nail in the MP3 coffin).

Re:Where's my OGG support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673394)

mod parent up pls

Yeah? Well where my... (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673433)

AAC support huh? I want to fit 2 times as many songs on there with better quality! Truthfully, I'm really waiting for more of this...

Ed Zander, Motorola's new boss (1)

joelparker (586428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673280)

Ed Zander moves from Sun Microsystems to Motorola, and shakes things up with an emphasis on the customers-- article from the Economist here [economist.com]

(requires subscription or pay per view)

Forbes & Chicago Tribune on Zander & Motor (2, Informative)

joelparker (586428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673347)

...here are some good articles on Zander with no reg required:

Making Over Motorola: If mobile communication is going to be seamless, Motorola has to be seamless. Forbes Yahoo Business: link [yahoo.com]

New chief reconnecting Motorola: Memories of earnings disappointments and last holiday season's product debacle are blurring as investors focus on rising sales and profits. link [chicagotribune.com]

Are Motorola's any good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673282)

I've had a basic Nokia phone for the last two years that's worked great as my full time phone, but recently got switched over to a Motorola v551 and my reception is horrible. In additional, the user interface is annoyingly slow. Sure, it records video and crap like that but if I can barely get through a five minute call without it dropping then what good is it? Had the same trouble with the v501.

Is it because AT&TW/Cingular swithed me from their old digital service to GSM? Or are Nokia phones just that much better. I'm really disappointed with these Motorolas.

Hint: (4, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673293)

No one will buy it. No one is going to buy the Nokia/Microsoft thing either. Just like no one bought the Nokia N-Gage. People don't want this sort of thing.

The thing to remember about "convergence" devices is they only make sense if you can perform both functions without either interfering with the other. Let's say someone sells something that is both a video game system and a DVD player [azursoft.fr]. This is a good idea. There is no interference, and the parts compliment the whole nicely; a DVD player needs some kind of MPEG decoder, a video game system needs some kind of optical drive, but the two never interfere-- you will never want to use your DVD player and video game system at the same time. Now let's say someone sells something that is both a video game system and a PVR [techstuff.ca]. It will not sell. True, a hard drive and certain other features are desirable in both video games and PVRs. There is massive interference, though; you very much want to use both of these products at the same time. You want to be able to sit there and play GTA all night without worrying that you're missing Family Guy, because the Tivo will just pick it up. The engineer must thus either duplicate so much hardware that there is little or no benefit to the convergence, or just dictate "you can't use the pvr and video game features at once". (Your PC, of course, can act as both a PVR and a video game system without significant interference! But there you're trading functionality for convenience, ease of use, focus and cost. Someone could try to slap together a PC that plugs into a TV and say "look! it's a pvr and video game system!"... but they'll probably be as hard to use and charge as much as if you'd just bought a small PC.)

Now, let's think: What if someone tries to put an mp3 player in a phone? Even worse idea. The parts compliment each other poorly; you do not want or need the kind of playback quality on a phone that you need in an mp3 player, you do not want or need the kind of disk storage in a phone that you need in an mp3 player (unless you have the ability to record and save phone calls or ambient noise, which is a kickass potential feature, but unlikely due to legality). Meanwhile, there's interference. You want to be able to pause your mp3 player to answer your phone without losing your place; you want to be able to run your mp3 player all night without your phone battery being dead in the morning. The two features subtly, but distinctly, struggle for the hardware. Maybe if Apple is building the thing they can reconcile the two. If Motrorola designs it... probably not so much.

Basically the only benefit here is that unlike with PVRs or video game systems, people have shown themselves ready and willing in large quantities to pay too much for mp3 players and phones. OK... wait, actually that's a pretty good benefit, since people have demonstrated they're willing to pay more for a "luxury" product with the iPod name, and if this is a high-margin product it will make decent profit even if very few people buy one. Um, I might have just seriously damaged my own argument. But, you get the idea.

Someday a PDA, a video game system, a phone, and an mp3 player may all converge in a single cost-effective, battery-efficient device. Until that day it is unlikely consumers will bite on a product that is more than one, but not all of these.

(Note: If you object to anything above, pretend I prepended it with "In my opinion...)

Re:Hint: (1)

tf23 (27474) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673518)

You want to be able to pause your mp3 player to answer your phone without losing your place

I would think this is a software issue. And unless the phone did this automatically for you, there's no chance in hell I'd buy it. There are enough issues with people being able to answer the phones they already have before the call goes to voicemail, there's no need to complicate it further.

you want to be able to run your mp3 player all night without your phone battery being dead in the morning

Yeah, this is key. For as small as cell phones are becoming, I fail to see where something's going to have the battery power to drive a phone w/ a tiny hd in it for much longer then a day of light use w/o going dead. And that's *if* you could get it to last that long.

That would just suck. I like being able to listen to the iPod at will, and it's power just lasts and lasts for most tasks If it happens to go dead, fine, but I won't miss a call.

mp3/m4a/m4p/wma ringtones and hold music (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673523)

There's actually several good reasons for a phone to have music support:

Ringtones and hold music.

You call your buddy with an iTunes phone and are put on hold. What do you hear? How about something from Schubert? Someone calls you, and what do you hear? Why not Snoop Dog?

Yes, some people will think it's stupid and some people will think it's annoying.

Network Ipod? (2, Interesting)

omarKhayyam (544074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673309)

This makes me wonder if Apple has designed a network Ipod that could download songs over a cell network. In my imagination of the product, it wouldn't function as a phone, because that would add unnecessary functionality. Apple has shown that extra functionality isn't always desired by consumers, especially if it's unrelated or inelegant.

It would look exactely the same as the current Ipod. I think you could browse the store fairly efficiently if they indexed the songs by artist and song title - I bet you could keep it to four clicks maximum without too much scrolling to get to a song from the main index.

Any thoughts?

Carriers? (1)

eseiat (650560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673316)

Does anyone know what cell companies will make this model available in the States? I read TFA and it didn't seem to mention who would be offering this. Are we going to endure another Motorola Razor situation? I think this would be a poor decision by Motorola if they don't get this one out to more providers.

Oh no! (5, Insightful)

Cinematique (167333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673340)

Quick! Grab your umbrella! There's about to be a flood of crotchedy old techies who think mobile phones that serve more than one purpose are crazy! Crrraaazaaay!!

Seriously though, I'm not the only one who WANTS to see the day where we have a phone, iPod, and PDA all in one device... right? Sure, bring on the "jack-of-all-trades master-of-none" arguement... but carrying around one device that does it all is better than having multiple gadgets. So what if the current creations need a little more R&D... it's not like basic phones can't be purchased anymore.

Another motobomb? (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673354)

Are they actually going to make this one in house, or farm it out to some third party again like the MPX line. The MPX-220 was a travishmockey, and I have't heard good things of the MPX either.

How about fewer models and more QA?

Being a geek is expensive (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673356)

I want it. Why must all geek toys (the GOOD PDAs, good computers, good gadgets, all gadgets before they go mainstream) be expensive? Fooey. But...I like cool toys. So it's more ramen for me while saving up for my next batch of toys.

Wasp T12 (2, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673387)

I've got a Wasp T-12 [trashbat.co.ck] including twin mp3 decks with scrubjockey interface, and sharkproof casing.

It's been out for three weeks in Japan - where's yours?


news ? (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11673401)

I hate to say this.. but havent we known this was coming since forever ? Hasnt it been showcased left and right and been made a big deal over already ?

Who Cares? My Nokia already does that (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673410)

My Nokia 6230 already plays MP3 and AAC files. I got a 256meg CF in it and bluetooth sync it to my library on my laptop. As far as WMV, or whatever, I couldnt care less.

Don't get too excited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11673428)

Neither the press release nor the Reuters article says the Motorola phone will handle Apple's DRM or music purchased from the iTunes Music Store, only that it will work with the "iTunes format". Without explicitly mentioning the iTMS, in my mind that just means the phone will decode unencumbered AAC. Big woop.

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