August 22, 2005 4:09 PM PDT

Motorola gets FCC approval for iTunes phone

Motorola is one step closer to launching its long-awaited iTunes phone.

According to documents posted to the Federal Communications Commission's Web site on Saturday, Motorola has received regulatory approval to start selling a cell phone that runs a mobile version of Apple Computer's iTunes software.

E398

A user manual posted on the FCC site shows that the Motorola E790 can run a cell phone version of iTunes and will contain stereo speakers, removable flash memory and Bluetooth technology for short-range radio communications with other devices.

"iTunes is a software application you use to manage the music on your computer and transfer music to your phone," the manual states. "You can use iTunes to purchase and download music for your phone, listen to CDs and digital music, and create playlists of your favorite songs on your phone."

Apple and Motorola have been promising such a phone for more than a year, though the plans have been delayed several times. Last month, Motorola CEO Ed Zander said the first iTunes-capable phone would be on the market by the end of the company's current fiscal quarter, which runs through September.

A Motorola spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the FCC documents. An Apple representative confirmed the company's earlier statement that an iTunes-compatible phone will ship this summer but had no further comment.

"As we've said before, Motorola and Apple are partnering to enable millions of music lovers to transfer their favorite iTunes songs to Motorola's next-generation mobile music phones," the Apple representative told CNET News.com.

The E790 manual was posted as one of the documents accompanying the regulatory approval on the FCC's Web site. Such approval is required before a wireless device can be sold to consumers in the United States. The device itself was approved in July, though the iTunes information was only posted to the site on Saturday.

The photo that accompanies the application shows the E398, which is already on the market and may be similar in design to the iTunes-capable phone.

FCC approval, in and of itself, though, does not mean that the arrival of the E790 is imminent, or that it will necessarily be the first iTunes-capable phone on the market.

Word of the FCC's approval and the iTunes mention was earlier noted on several enthusiast sites, including AppleInsider and PhoneArena.

Apple's latest version of iTunes, iTunes 4.9, contained hidden references to a number of mobile phone-related features, though such features are not visible to current users of the software.

4 comments

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Say where is the back scratcher?
Now if this phone, comes with a built in back scratcher, then maybe I'll buy it!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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No Thanks!
I think i will stick to my k750. Play's mp3, aac, and mp4 video files. and i have it now!
Posted by djdanska (7 comments )
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I want one
I have a stupid Verizon phone now and they charge $3 per song. No way sez I, since I already have an iPod. With this new phone I could synch up my already extensive library from iTunes.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
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The BIGGER picture here is...
the direction that Motorola is apparently heading - ultimately, not only as a handheld device manufacturer, but as a media content provider as well. Granted this first encompassing phone is a poorly represented start, but money and designers will correct it pretty quick.

However, this action presages some logical fast-moving changes from the likes of Motorola, Nokia, Qualcomm and Nextel/Sprint in the near future. Besides their own products, we will see their functional couplings to Yahoo Media Content, AOL Media and Clear Channel. New partnerships, spinoff businesses and re-directed business models. Satellite radio will also attempt an entry into this arena regardless of the fact that they ride upon a financially and operationally burdensome business model.
Posted by vox365 (32 comments )
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