iTunes phone 'is coming soon'

Have operators got cold feet as Moto boss hails "another bang-up quarter"?

Have operators got cold feet as Moto boss hails "another bang-up quarter"?

Motorola CEO Ed Zander hailed a storming quarter for the phone maker and promised that the long-awaited, oft-delayed iTunes phone will debut in the none-too-distant future. Although Zander may be excited about the prospect, rumour has it mobile network operators are shunning the handset in droves.

The company's first quarter results saw Motorola shipping 28.7 million handsets worldwide – a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent. Its market share also grew, now standing at just over 17 per cent.

In the conference call to discuss the company's first quarter results, Zander said that the company had "another bang-up quarter" and will be looking to new technologies to drive growth.

"We see continued opportunity for profitable growth... driven by investment in R&D that delivers new product designs and experiences based on 3G and eventually 4G technology", as well as the continuing use of the Java Linux software platform and brand development, Zander said.

Push-to-view, the video equivalent of push-to-talk is "right around the corner", he added.

Zander also confirmed the iTunes phone "will be coming out in the next few months". The device was first demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics trade show earlier this year, but despite repeated promises a concrete commercial launch date has not been forthcoming.

A Motorola spokeswoman confirmed that the phone will be available in the first half of this year.

The delays in the launch of the phone have prompted rumours that major US carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, are unwilling to stock the phones in an effort to drive users onto their proprietary phone download services and bolster revenue.

The Motorola spokeswoman denied the rumours, however.