Can wireless challenge iPod?

Janet Babin Nov 1, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: In Japan, most people don’t listen to music on an iPod-like device. They download songs to their cell phones. I guess we’ll see if it catches on here. Cingular is reportedly working on a deal to offer music for its cell phones. From our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin has more.

JANET BABIN: The Wall Street Journal reports that Cingular is teaming up with Yahoo, Napster and eMusic, to create a new music service on its cell phone network.

That could appeal to the growing number of people who use their cell phones to play music or watch videos.

The new service could set the stage for a showdown with Apple’s ubiquitous iPod and iTunes store, but ZDNet’s executive editor David Berlind says Cingular will face an uphill battle.

DAVID BERLIND:“Ask any hip young kid what they want on their belt, and they’re gonna tell you it’s an iPod. And it doesn’t matter whether some of the other products have better technology in them, if somebody comes out with better technology, Apple can catch up in 3 to 6 months.”

Apple has roughly 70 percent of the U.S. portable audio player market, and controls 88 percent of all single-sale songs online.

The Journal reports that the deal could be announced tomorrow.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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