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Thursday, December 01, 2005, 05:25 pm PT (08:25 pm ET)

Motorola shows ROKR E2 iTunes handset

In a presentation to investors last month, Motorola revealed brief details and a photo of the ROKR E2 handset, one of the company's upcoming music phones with iTunes integration.

The capsule shape phone was shown in black, featuring a dedicated iTunes music key and track-ball-like navigational pad. Unlike the ROKR E1, which is was based on a candy-bar form-factor, the ROKR E2 appears to sport Motorola's PEBL industrial design.

According to a brief description included in the presentation, the ROKR E2 will feature a Bluetooth stereo headset and "rapid USB2-enabled downloads." The handset is also expected to feature a "richer mobile music experience" and support for UMTS — a 3G mobile system news and information provider.

The ROKR E2 fits a different description than the handset recently described by BusinessWeek as being the successor to the ROKR E1. In a recent report, the publication said Motorola plans to introduce a revamped version of the ROKR in the first quarter of 2006, updated to address the main criticisms of the first release.

"Expect a phone with a 1 megapixel camera, a 3.5 millimeter earphone jack (same as the iPod uses), and enough storage capacity to hold 1,000 songs — all capabilities Motorola has confirmed," the report said. "The current phone's basic design will be replaced by a sleek new look, which sources close to the company say will be an elegant slider format."



At least two other upcoming Motorola handset will include support for iTunes according to reports circulating on the Internet. Pre-production models of Motorola's SLVR L7 handset were recently spotted with iTunes, Bluetooth headset support, a VGA digital camera, and a TransFlash memory card. Meanwhile, photos of a RAZR2 prototype also reveal plans for iTunes integration.

Despite a lackluster response to the original ROKR E1 iTunes handset by reviewers and the media, Motorola recently said that it shipped over half-a-million of the phones since they were introduced in September.