The advent of cellular music services

Cellular Music: the iPod iTunes iPhone

Every now and then, I see the convergence of a number of technological innovations coinciding that leads me to certain conclusions about where the industry is headed. It seems quite logical, given the recent press, that your cellphone will soon sport more than cameras, but full-featured iPod-like digital music players. It’s true that some phones already have this ability, but it’s much more of an after-thought today than an actual iPod competitor. But I have a feeling that that’s all about to change in the not-too-distant future.

Let’s take a few things into consideration (even if Om was all over this last October). First, we hear that Motorola has an iTunes-compatible phone coming. Then we hear thatNokia is going to be using Apple’s WebCore in its phones. Next, Ericsson teams up with Napster to offer digital music downloads to directly compete with Apple et al. Obviously, Apple is beefing up its distribution mechanism over mobile devices with WebCore… and at the same time, dumping podcasts into iTunes 4.9, which itself uses WebCore a great deal. See where this is going?

It certainly seems that the combination of downloadable mobile music through an excellent interface is around the corner… how podcasts fit into the picture isn’t clear yet, nor is it clear whether Apple will actually be designing its own phone. It is certainly an exciting time to be watching this segment of the industry… and probably not a good time to invest in a new phone, yet.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

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