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Race For The Music-Playing Phone

Autumn Davis
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-11-16

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Apple, creator or portable music player dominant the iPod, has begun training to defeat both Nokia and Microsoft in the race for music-playing phone supremacy.

Apple's iPod has yet to receive any viable contenders to challenge them in the MP3 player market, even with Microsoft's release of it's own Zune device. Following the announcement of an order placed by Apple to a Taiwanese manufacturer, however, rival companies are already attempting to compete with Apple's iPhone prototype.

Apple Computer's CEO Steve Jobs has placed an order to Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision for 12 million iPhones, according to analyst citing reports in Asia. Reports say the iPhone could possibly be released after the MacWorld conference in January 2007.

The iPhone would have the capabilities of an iPod and would also include a 15, 000 song MP3 player, email, and 80 hours of video all in a cellular telephone.

If all goes to plan, CEO of Apple Steve Jobs will be announcing their release very soon, according to UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes who wrote: "This data point is in line with our expectations that a cell phone could be discussed in January at Macworld with limited sales by February and broader distribution in spring 2007," in a research note.

Competitor Microsoft only released it's Zune portable music player on Tuesday, but they have already announced that they intend to make a cellular phone version of Zune. Microsoft creator Bill Gates even stated at a small press conference in Redmond, "the future of digital music is on phones."

Cellular phone giant Nokia released their own line of NSeries music-playing phones, in an attempt to compete with the release of iPhone. The expanded line of phones featuring cameras and offering it's own iTunes-esque digital music service called Music Recommenders.

Apple's iPhone is completely untested in the market and is taking a major risk in releasing a prototype without first testing it. Apple is apparently feeling the pressure to create a music-playing phone because of the fact that it is the leader in music-players right now, having sold over 70 million iPods, as well as analyst's statements on the future of music-playing phones. Pacific Growth Equities analyst Derek Wood said "I think over the long term mobile music is gong to be huge."

In an interesting marketing twist on Apple's part, they plan to release the iPhone "unlocked", meaning that it won't be tied to any carriers. Instead, users would be required to insert their own SIM card into the phone.

Essentially anyone, anywhere in the world could use the iPhone and could potentially mean millions of new prospects for Apple in the future, proving that the company is thinking about their future globally.

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About the Author:
Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.

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