Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Rokr dancing minus partner Apple

After all the talk yesterday about Mototorola's iRadio service, the focus turns to the devices running the programming. The Chicago Tribune reports that Motorola has "unveiled a new and seemingly improved version of its Rokr music phone Tuesday, but this time without Apple Computer, its partner in Rokr's first incarnation."

The new Rokr E2 is slated for release in the first half of 2006, will run the iRadio service and also "features a Linux operating system that supports several formats for digital music," and can hold up to about 500 songs via "removable SanDisk cards with up to 2 gigabytes of external memory."

John Jackson at Yankee Group said, "I think the only resemblance (the new Rokr) has to the first one is that it's a phone that happens to play music."
Jackson thought Apple's absence was "striking," but the "move makes sense."

Analysts believe Motorola is flexing its muscles and branching out in the mobile music scene, "doing both iTunes and non-iTunes music phones."
Neil Strother at NPD Group said, "Motorola is big and bold enough to do things on its own."

Since the mobile music market is still in its nascent phase, they are doing what everyone else is - throwing stuff at consumers and seeing what sticks...