Motorola and Apple have revealed the long-expected iTunes phone.
The device combines music player features (capable of holding 100 songs) with mobile phone features. The device is called the Motorola ROKR."This is the first device in a series," Carsten Schmidt, European manager for Motorola's retail operations, told the BBC. "There will be more coming with higher memory."
Schmidt also confirmed Motorola to be talking to operators about future versions of the iTunes phone that can download songs across mobile networks.
It features easy-to-use menus, simple navigation and playback, and the ability to simply switch from listening to music to talking on the phone and back again with the push of a dedicated music key. It also offers a colour display for viewing album art, dual built-in stereo speakers and stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphone. The phone connects to the PC or Mac using USB 2.0.
It will also automatically pause music when a call comes in or goes out through the phone.
The device is being rolled out globally. In the US it is available exclusively with Cingular; while in the UK, potential users can acquire the phone from mid-September from Carphone Warehouse, and then with O2, followed by Orange, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile and others through September and October.
The ROKR ships in France and Italy by late September through key retailers, and should ship in Germany later this year. Canadian users can expect the device by mid- to late-September with Rogers Wireless.
In Hong Kong the phone should ship by late September through multiple retail outlets and operator channels. It should also reach Australia, Singapore and the Philippines at around the same time, or later.
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and other countries should see the phone ship this year.
"The Motorola ROKR represents the ultimate convergence of mobile communications and music," said Motorola CEO Ed Zander. "We're revolutionizing the way the world experiences mobile self-expression and entertainment."
"We've worked closely with Motorola to deliver the world's best music experience on a mobile phone," said Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes. "We're also thrilled to be working with some of the largest wireless carriers in the world to bring this pioneering phone to market."
More information on product availability and pricing in each territory is available online.