Apple set to unveil music-playing mobile phone

An alternative to the iPod is on the way...

APPLE is poised to unveil a mobile phone that plays music just like its best-selling IPOD.

Made by Motorola, the handset will have Apple iTunes onboard and will be available via the US Cingular phone service, the BBC reports.

The news was broken by analyst Roger Entner, who said he had been briefed about the device and the partners producing it. None of the companies involved were prepared to comment on the revelations.

Speculation that the music phone was about to be unveiled began when Apple issued teasing invites for a press conference on 7 September. The company famously never talks about unreleased products but it did let slip that the press conference was “music related”.

Adding to the speculation was the admission by Motorola that the iTunes phone it was preparing with Apple would be ready for release by the end of September.

But Ovum analyst Entner gave details of the forthcoming phone to newswires and papers. He said the device will give a phone music playing abilities roughly equivalent to Apple’s iPod shuffle.

This smaller music playing device has either 512MB or 1GB of storage. The larger model can hold up to 240 songs.

The handset due to be unveiled will reportedly be the first in a series of iTunes equipped phones made by Motorola that will be given the name “Rokr”.

What is unclear as yet is whether the phone will allow for music to be downloaded via wireless services or only when the gadget is connected to a computer.

Apple and Motorola are not the first to unveil handsets that can play music. Many handsets already have basic media players on board and store many tracks on high-capacity memory cards.