iPod phone unveiled

Motorola the company that brought you the ultra cool Razr cell phone and Apple, the company that brought you the ultra cool iPod music player have joined forces to bring you what some are calling the first iPod phone. Those involved don't call it that, and they have a point. What Apple, Motorola and Cingular (who will sell it exclusively in the U.S.) have announced is the first iTunes-enabled cell phone: the Rokr (as in rocker) E1.

The new handset isn’t all that new. The phone is really a Motorola E398 Rokr with a new button or two - plus, of course, Apple’s easy-to-use iTunes digital music software.

The choice of the E398 is a good one. The quad-band (for U.S. and overseas use) phone is a great handset with all sorts of neat features, including an integrated VGA camera with flash for stills and video. The GSM/GPRS device measures 4.3 by 1.8 by 0.8 inches and weighs 3.17 ounces, reports MSNBC.

"We're not the center of the music universe but we want to take habits that people have already established and put it on the go," Marc Lefar, chief marketing officer at Cingular said to Reuters. To that end, the Rokr phone lets customers choose songs through menus that are nearly identical with an iPod device, and works together with the computer program for Apple's iTunes music download service.

Cingular doesn't see the new phones directly competing with a consumer's iPod or other music device since the Rokr stores far fewer songs. But it does hope to benefit from the rationale that while a user may not always take their music player on a journey, "people always have their cell phones with them," Lefar said.

Motorola is also planning its own advertising to tout its Rokr phone, but executives at the mobile phone maker would not provide details of the campaign.

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