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Can Cell Phones Take a Bite Out of Apple?

Techstination feature for Monday, March 14, 2005

Can cell phones take a bite out of Apple's music business? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. You see Apple's iPods everywhere. And you also see cell phones everywhere. Will consumers opt to combine two devices into one? Sprint is now selling a handset from Sanyo, the MM5600, designed for music…complete with a mini-SD memory card slot. Nancy Beaton, Sprint's general manager for music and personalization, says the phone ships with stereo headphones that will let subscribers listen to streaming music…through Music Choice, or play their own music files…

"What it allows you to do is take a USB cable and literally you just drag and drop unprotected MP3 or AAC files that you own onto the removable memory card in the phone. And now you can take your music with you."

Sony Ericsson also has an MP3 capable phone with a memory card slot and Motorola will be introducing a phone that can sync with Apple's iTunes service. One obstacle to using a phone as your only digital music player…is the impact that might have on the phone's battery life. More music can equal less talk time…

"This is more designed for you to get a few minutes of music. If you're at the gym for 30 minutes or if you're on a commute or if you're walking down the street. That will leave you plenty of talk time left on your phone."

And with improvements in battery life the idea of music and cell phones together will sound even better. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.