Motodud Redux

The phone was present, but not accounted for.

In retrospect, I almost feel sorry for Motorola. They had a bunch of really cool things at their MotoNow dog-n-pony show - including some swank handsets, new email solutions, and of course the RAZRWIRE - but everyone went away bitter and disappointed because there was no iTunes phone. And really, the expectations surrounding the thing were so high that there was no way they could win. Hell, they could have brought out a naked Jessica Simpson balancing the new handsets on her plastic tits while sucking a foot-long hot dog and it wouldn't have made a difference. People wanted one thing and one thing only - the iTunes ROKR.

It seems now that the decision to put the "crown jewel" off for "66 days" was an absolute last-minute decision, and Moto had well and truly planned to debut the phone - to the point where the iTunes ROKR was actually on stage for the show. Check out the following picture, taken from the audience with an ultrazoom digital camera.

This phone was on it's own podium, centre right of the stage, and was never referenced or mentioned during the show - the only item on stage that wasn't demonstrated and announced by name. Also note the obvious clickwheel, something that no other Moto product is packing and the one item that any iTunes phone would have to include.

So why was this little darling forsaken? Probably a last minute failure to secure clearance from a national wireless provider - as previously noted, both Verizon and Cingular have both balked at hosting a phone that buys digital content without giving the provider a kickback. The "66 days" stipulation would also seem to point at this, as it may be the expiry date of some sort of "exclusive" digital content contract with one or more providers.

66 days ... don't touch that dial. Er, clickwheel.

Posted: Wed - July 27, 2005 at 03:32 AM