Thursday, November 10, 2005

If you need a mobile phone, you'll buy an iPod???

Of the series of stupid slashdot articles: Apple sabotages ROKR so that the people who were wanting to buy a mobile phone, will buy an iPod...

Laughing on that alone, without bothering to even read more than the headlines for a day.

"Oh yes, I need a new phone ... so I'll just buy an iPod". What next? Someone who is looking for a new phone, buys a new digital camera? I still don't get how I can call with an iPod. There is no addon for a mobile phone functionality for an iPod, so if I need a mobile phone, why would I get an iPod?

But then.. why would I need to buy a new phone? I'll wait until the promised price drop of PSP will be true - their price at $ 150 as what they promised when 5th Generation iPods got out -- that and a USB microphone, and I'm covered for where ever I am at work and at home -- VOIP rules, who needs a mobile phone when you can PSP?

Well, the "original" Appleblog article linked as a source info for that /. article was stolen from Wired: Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone .

Excerpts from that Wired article that sum it up:

Zander had been hired to jazz up the staid midwestern company, and an association with iPod would provide a much-needed infusion of cool - maybe even more than the upcoming RAZR. For Jobs, a partnership with Motorola was a way of neutralizing a threat to the iPod, which already dominated the US music-player market. Consumers around the world are expected to buy 75 million MP3 players this year, but they'll purchase nearly 10 times that many mobile phones. If music players become standard in handsets, the iPod could be in trouble. Partnering on a music phone gives Apple a way to enter that market yet protect the iPod. So although the two companies were superficially aligned, in fact their ambitions were diametrically opposed: Motorola dreamed of bringing the iPod to the cell phone-buying masses, while Apple sought to protect the iPod from them. [..[

Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of Nokia and head of its multimedia group, has bad news for the labels. In an impossibly sleek conference room at Nokia's steel and glass headquarters in Espoo, a woodsy Helsinki suburb, Vanjoki is showing off the new N91, a 3G Symbian handset that will go on sale this winter. As a music phone, the N91 is everything the ROKR is not. It can hold a thousand songs or more. It has a rugged 4-gigabyte hard drive as well as Wi-Fi and a high-speed USB connection. "If you want to do file-sharing, this is also possible," Vanjoki says. "Because this is not a mobile phone, it is a computer."

He pushes a couple of buttons on the keypad. Up pops Symella, a new peer-to-peer downloading program from Hungary. As the name suggests, Symella is a Symbian application that runs on Gnutella, the P2P network that hosts desktop file-sharing apps like BearShare and Limewire. It was created earlier this year by two students at a Budapest engineering school that for four years has been exploring mobile P2P in conjunction with a local Nokia research center. Symella doesn't come installed on the N91; Vanjoki downloaded it from the university Web site. "Now I am connected to a number of peers," he continues, "and I can just go and search for music or any other files. If I find some music I like and it's 5 megabytes and I want to download it - the carriers will love this. It will give them a lot of traffic." [..]

In the end, what's surprising about the Moto ROKR is not that carriers resisted it but that it is so short on innovation. Instead of creating new possibilities, as the N91 does, the ROKR allows FairPlay to close them off. Why won't Apple open iTunes by licensing FairPlay to a wide range of manufacturers? "That's a good question for Steve Jobs," replies Alberto Moriondo, a Motorola executive who helped lead the development of the ROKR. (Jobs declined to be interviewed for this story.) Another handset person says he asked the same question in a meeting with Apple execs, only to have them roll their eyes and mutter, "If only …"[..]

Hey, this Nokia N91 actually sounds interesting. I might even consider switching back to Nokias after a 5 years pause of them.

Nokia's press release
ROKR product page

I have a perfectly working Sony Ericsson P800 that I have no intention of changing, an Ericsson T39m (yes, it has bluettoth) as a secondary phone, and a 20 GB iPod (first of the kind), an iPod mini, and an iPod shuffle, and a Newton 2000. Do I really *need* to buy a new phone? Most reasonably NO, I don't, but ... anyone who needs a PHONE, will buy a phone. Until you can call with your digital camera or palm. They buy a phone, or a Treo, or something. The reverse engineer part of me wants to get a PSP and hack that to be a VOIP with a USB microphone, then again, I might be curious enough to get the Nokia N91 soon enough - if they have fixed finally an annoying bug which made me ultimately run away from the Nokias a few years back.