Thursday, May 19, 2005, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)
Motorola chief debunks rumors of carriers passing on Rokr iTunes phoneThe CEO of Motorola has denied reports that wireless service carriers are balking at the opportunity to carry its forthcoming iTunes mobile phone.
During a press conference on Tuesday, company chief Ed Zander said the phone, known as the Rokr, will be out in "a couple of more months,"
"There is no resistance on anybody's part," Zander said. "I don't know where these rumors got started." He said went on to say, "When we did this deal last year, we knew exactly what carriers were interested in [it]."
Zander wouldn't offer any further details but proceeded to have a little fun with journalist, saying he was carrying one of the Rokr phones on himself but would not show it.
"I love it," he said. "I've been playing with it for the last week or two."
In April, BusinessWeek ran an international cover story, claiming major wireless carriers Verizon, Sprint, and CIngular were not interested in carrying the new iTunes phone because they shared different perspectives on how consumers should purchase their mobile music files.
The report cited sources "close to Apple" in saying that the carriers expected to charge between $2 and $3 for wireless music downloads and that they would instead introduce their own services later this year.
Also this week, Motorola announced plans to buy back up to $4 billion of its outstanding common shares over the next three years, reflecting the company's confidence in its long-term growth.
Motorola stock, which rose 2.9% following the news, continues to climb upwards this afternoon, trading at $17.25 a share, up over 2%.
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