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Thursday, December 16, 2004, 12:05 pm PT (03:05 pm ET)

Apple and Motorola on track to intro iTunes-ready phone

An Apple VP has confirmed that the first half of 2005 will give way to an iTunes-ready cellphone that will be co-developed by Motorola.

Apple Computer and Motorola may soon show the mobile phone they are developing to play music purchased from Apple's iTunes online music store, reports Forbes.

"We've said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005 and we're definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you'll be able to see more about it soon," says Eddy Cue, vice president in charge of applications at Apple. "What we've talked about is a something that is valuable for the mass market," Cue added. "It has to be a phone in the middle-tier of the market, not a $500-tier phone. It has to be very seamless to use. And we're very happy with the results."

Cue reportedly declined to say whether Jobs would introduce the phone at next month's Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Earlier this Summer, Motorola and Apple announced plans to enable music lovers to transfer their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on their PC or Mac, including songs from the iTunes Music Store, to Motorola’s next-generation "always with you" mobile handsets, via a USB or Bluetooth connection.

At the time, Apple stated that it would create a new iTunes mobile music player, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of 2005.