New iPod cell phone comes to market

London, August 31:

First there was the iPod, then the mini-iPod, and after that the iPod on which you can store your photographs. Now its relentless march is to continue with the iPod mobile phone. According to Apple, the company behind the phenomenally successful digital music player, will next week launch a music-playing mobile in conjunction with Motorola. Roger Entner, an analyst with research firm Ovum, told the New York Times that he had been briefed on the announcement last week. The new phone, he said, would be compatible with Apple’s iTunes software, which has helped to sell millions of iPods. “It’s a deluxe music player now on your cellphone,” he said.

The speculation was further fuelled by the announcement of a mystery launch from Apple Computer due to take place in San Francisco next Wednesday. “1,000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again,” said a statement from the California computer firm.

The project to build a phone compatible with the iPod has been under way for some time, but has been dogged by delays, allowing rivals such as Sony Ericsson and Nokia to push forward with their own music-playing models. But Apple will be hoping that it can successfully translate the iPod formula and capture some of the world’s estimated on-e billion cell phone users.

“It’s been awaited for a year,” says Thomas Husson, an analyst with Jupiter Research, “That means people might be disappointed. I don’t think it will be much more than a phone that can play music — and there are already others on the market that can do that. But iTunes and iPod are quite famous in the music space, and they will be hoping for leverage.”