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iTunes phone has weak start

Bloomberg News
October 22, 2005

Motorola's iTunes Rokr music phone, developed with Apple Computer and grandly unveiled last month, may have flopped. As many as six times more customers are returning the phones than is normal for new handsets, said Albert Lin, American Technology Research analyst, who talked to distributors, retailers and call-center workers at Cingular Wireless, which sells it.

"We got off to a little bit of a rough start," Motorola Chief Executive Ed Zander said this week. "People were looking for an iPod, and that's not what it is." He said the company didn't make it clear enough that the Rokr holds 100 songs; the iPod Nano holds 1,000.

Motorola sold 83,000 iTunes phones in the weeks it was on sale last quarter vs. 500,000 a week of its Razr phones during the entire quarter.