Apple may emerge as the world's largest mobile music download service, a report claims.
US mobile network Cingular hopes to launch its own mobile music download service next year, possibly in partnership with Apple.
Speaking in Paris this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took pains to dismiss such services.
He said that mobile networks may be unable to create a sufficiently attractive offering, citing track price, back-up and music archiving as problems that will beset that market.
Reuters reports that Cingular's chief operating officer Ralph de la Vega may have a plan - he wants to launch a music for mobile download service with Apple.
His network will launch such a service next year with download fees set "slightly higher" than iTunes, he said at a Goldman Sachs investor conference this week.
"Details regarding how the service would be run were still being worked out, de la Vega said, adding that he hoped it could be done in partnership with Apple," the report claims.
Price is a clear issue for the digital download market. Jobs isn't sure mobile iterations of such services will work: "I'm not convinced that it will be successful," he said in Paris. "The network providers will charge a lot to download music to a mobile - maybe $3."
"You will have to backup the music on your phone using your PC. If you lose a phone then you lose all your music. If you get a new phone you have to transfer it all. It's not clear that buying music over the air makes economic sense," he said, adding: "People only use 5 per cent of the features on their mobiles".
Cingular is exclusively distributing the Motorola iTunes phone, the ROKR in the US.