otorola Says It Is Working on More iTunes Phones

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - Motorola said on Thursday it is working on several mobile phones that are compatible with Apple's iTunes music service and some of which can store eight hours of songs.

One model, the E790, was initially scheduled for a European launch this summer, but that introduction has been delayed after discussions with operators, Motorola said at the fringes of CeBIT, the world's biggest electronics fair here.

The model is a surprise as it was originally planned ahead of the ROKR, which is also a music phone with iTunes and which Motorola has banged the drum about, but has not yet shown.

The ROKR is expected to be unveiled later this month at a music event in Florida.

Rival Sony Ericsson showed its first phone with a built-in Sony Walkman last week.

"Over the course of the year, you'll see more (iTunes) devices," said Alberto Moriondo, Motorola's global director of entertainment for mobile devices.

Major handset makers have started collaborating with online digital music stores. Sony Ericsson said its first Walkman phone will be on the market around August or September. Nokia which said it will use Microsoft's music technology alongside other standards, has yet to unveil a dedicated music phone.

Motorola hopes to benefit from its association with Apple, which makes the world's most popular digital player iPod and runs the world's most popular music store, iTunes Music Store. "The Walkman for the 21st century is the Apple brand," Moriondo said.

The fact that some iTunes phones can store eight hours of music or more is different from initial announcements last year that Motorola phones would only carry a small number of songs. Motorola's E790 handset will work on second-generation mobile networks, and not the faster, third-generation (3G) systems.

Motorola at CeBIT also unveiled two more phones for third-generation networks, one medium-priced flip phone model and a slightly higher-priced handset which has taken some design features from the popular RAZR model.

The Schaumberg, Illinois-based company has said it will launch 16 handsets for 3G networks this year.

Motorola also introduced new flip phone handsets for the entry-level segment of the market, to be available in the second half of 2005.

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