Cell Phones Continue Path Toward Music Dominance

Many people have predicted that the days of standalone music devices such as Apple Computer's iPod are numbered, and recent developments continue to fuel that belief. At a conference last week, Verizon Wireless, the nation's number-two cell phone provider, disclosed plans to launch a new music service in the next 6 to 8 months that will give mobile phones full access to music services. The company will release at least one phone in the next couple of months that will support music downloads, although the music service won't be available when the phone is launched. Verizon is being secretive about its plans to enter the potentially lucrative mobile music market. The company won't be alone in its battle to dominate the market, however. As reported previously in Connected Home Express, Ericsson and Napster are working together to offer a cellular-based service and, according to many online reports, Apple and Motorola are close to announcing the release of the first of many iTunes-enabled phones. Cingular Wireless, the nation's number-one cell phone provider, is rumored to be partnering with the two companies to offer the first device. The game is on.

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