Motorola executive Ron Garriques gave selected CEO attendees a sneak preview of the company's forthcoming iTunes-friendly mobile phone yesterday.
He explained that the unit syncs with a computer and the iTunes Music Store just as iPods do. eWeek claims the device also incorporates an iPod interface for navigating music collections. He warned the phone would be the "first of many" iTunes-supporting mobiles to ship in 2005.
July 2004 saw Apple and Motorola announce plans to work together on creating such a device, though details at that time were scant. It's anticipated to ship early this year, and may possibly be announced next week at Macworld Expo.
Motorola on convergence
Garriques discussed convergence: many commentators believe users will turn to their mobile phones as their main consumer electronic devices and so those will need to handle varied multimedia functions. Others have pointed to the PDA (personal digital assistant) as the key convergence tool. But convergence hasn't occurred around any one device.
"It converged around people," he said, asserting as others have in talks and panel discussions here that individual users - not companies - are in control and their demands and the ways they use devices are the greatest market forces.
He cited 10-16-year old girls as a main driving force for convergence technologies. They want to be connected all of the time to the Internet, to music, to their friends. Motorola's 'seamless mobility' vision meets their needs, as ultimately this will be capable of moving between networks and devices seamlessly, for always-on access to digital content and communication, it seems.
Snow's up! Burton and Moto get it on
Garriques also demonstrated the Motorola/Burton Bluetooth-enabled jacket, which is expected to be on the market at the end of this year or early next year.
This device will let wearers switch between their iPod music and mobile calls on the fly. Devices are controlled by an embedded system operated using jacket sleeve-mounted controls. Stereo speakers are built into the hood of the jacket and a microphone is embedded in the upper section near the collar.
Bluetooth technology is built into the Motorola/Burton helmet and beanie that keeps riders connected to their music and wirelessly to their phone. When the modules are removed from the helmet and beanie, they can double as a stereo headset.