It's Official (UPDATE)

Yes, Virginia, there is an iTunes phone (UPDATE).


At exactly 10:00 am PDT this morning, one Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco and delighted legions of geeks everywhere by pulling an honest-to-goshen iTunes phone out of his jeans.

There was the requisite call to a A-list celebrity (Madonna, at her pad in London), a snide comment about Microsoft (wondering if he had a backup phone in case this one coughed up a Blue Screen of Death) and then he got down to business. The highlights:

The latest version of iTunes (version 5.0) was announced, available now as an upgrade via Software Update and available as a free stand-alone download as of 8:00 p.m. PDT tonight.

Steve revealed the not-so-secret information that yes, it was indeed a Motorola ROKR with full iTunes functionality with a capacity for 100 songs, twin speakers, and two-way synchronization to your desktop.

Right now Cingular is the exclusive carrier of the iTunes phone - other carriers will come on board after a suitable period of Cingular gloating and (of course) a flashy ad campaign.

UPDATE: Steve always has "just one more thing" and today was no exception. Just before walking off the stage, he reached into his other pocket and pulled out the "iPod nano", the smallest full-colour digital music player ever. The thing is like a freaking jewel ... so pretty it hurts. They are available in 2GB and 4GB flavours, and start at 199 bucks U.S. They replace the Mini, and you can expect a drastic price drop on the shuffle front as Apple seeks to further differentiate the product lines. Oh, and did I mention how pretty it is?

UPDATE 2: iTunes 5.0 is available for download now.

Posted: Wed - September 7, 2005 at 02:04 PM