A new wave of cellphones available this fall will finally put backbeats front and centre. On Sept. 7, Motorola and Apple teamed up to unveil the hotly anticipated ROKR phone, which features an integrated iTunes music player. The success of Apple's iPod pushed portable digital music into the mainstream but, until now, mobile handset manufacturers have struggled to design a compelling music phone. Too often, music players are buried inside a menu of other multimedia functions, and music files are stored on fingernail-sized 64 megabyte TransFlash memory cards that hold about a CD's worth of MP3s. For four times that memory, it costs an extra $60–about the price of four compact discs. Transferring music files from your PC has proven complex, too, and often requires separately purchased USB equipment. Even the headphone jacks are 2.5 millimetres, smaller than the standard 3.5 mm, and sometimes the music doesn't play in stereo. As well, if you want to take a picture or text message a friend, the music can't play in the background. Music is simply an afterthought on many old phones. But the new models promise to rectify this with more memory, easier file transfers (and wireless downloads, once carriers introduce services) and more intuitive controls. That ought to have music lovers dancing in the streets.
Motorola And Apple Team Up
A new wave of cellphones available this fall will finally put backbeats front and centre.