After waiting for a year it seems Macworld readers are somewhat underwhelmed by Motorola’s iTunes phone.
The ROKR doesn’t rock, it seems.
In an online poll, Macworld asked readers: “When will you upgrade your mobile to an iTunes phone?”
The answer suggests 100 songs isn’t quite enough to make our readers burst out in song - of 884 readers who voted just 100 people plan to ‘switch’ to ROKR, a measly 12 per cent of the survey group.
Just 25 voters (3 per cent) plan to grab a ROKR “as soon as possible”. 32 voters (4 per cent) need to wait until their current contract expires and 43 voters (5 per cent) intend to wait until their network supports the device.
ROKR needs help to roll
The future may be brighter: Motorola has already confirmed it intends creating new iterations of the device, possibly implementing 3G and other features to add spice to its mobile morsel.
When it does, it’s also possible more Macworld readers will add a dose of Apple to their ‘Mobilly’ - 311 voters (35 per cent) plan to wait until a better iTunes phone reaches the market.
Some mobile users just don’t like Motorola’s operating system. One reader wrote: “My wife has a Motorola phone and it is one the the most difficult mobiles to use - just look at the webcast and see that even Steve Jobs can't work them out!”
Innovation and design matter
Apple’s design innovation has created a congregation of demanding users. And those users aren’t blown away by the design of the product. One observed: “It looks very uninspiring”.
Another wrote: “I think that if Apple were to get more involved with the design and user interface of a mobile phone, we would see a very different product. Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be happy to promote the ROKR, but I wouldn't imagine for a moment that he'd be happy to accept a half-hearted product like that as being worthy of bearing the Apple logo.”
Mobile operators needn’t feel like the iTunes phone’s initial lukewarm response is an excuse for them to anticipate immediate profit from offering mobile music downloads.
Is mobile music’s future?
Considerations of network access, secure back-up and price aside, almost half the readers who voted said they: “Don’t need a music phone”.
“I already have a substandard phone and an iPod shuffle—I don't really see any need to pay a lot of money to combine the two,” said one.
“In my eyes a phone is a phone, a camera is a camera and an iPod is an iPod. All-in-ones don't work for me. I'm just waiting for an 80GB or bigger iPod (and a thinner one too) as 60GB is not big enough for me”, said another.
“Last year I realized I use the phone as a phone; not a camera or an Internet access device or a HiFi or a whatever. I have other specifically superior devices for each function,” another wrote.
433 voters (49 per cent of the sample group) felt that way. And one-in-twenty readers who voted (5 per cent) just “don’t know” if it’s a good idea.
As previously mentioned, Apple has the capacity to innovate in its products, so it’s possible the mobile market is ripe: “If Apple makes its own mobile then I may be interested for the sake of a mobile that is intuitive and easy-to-use” said one reader.