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A View from Brad King

Convergent Handhelds Add More Music

Wade Roush and I have been discussing the future of mobile handhelds (see, here, here, and here), and I enjoy our conversations – both digital and analog – to no end. It is a bit intimidating at times, because he…

  • June 16, 2005

Wade Roush and I have been discussing the future of mobile handhelds (see, here, here, and here), and I enjoy our conversations – both digital and analog – to no end. It is a bit intimidating at times, because he is far and away my intellectual superior. But, as my dad used to tell me (in relation to sports), you don’t get better by playing people you can beat. With Wade, I have certainly found that person who makes me think better.

Our conversations have been specifically focused whether convergent devices such as the PalmOne Treo or application-specific devices such as the iPod will dominate the consumer market.

My take, as you know, is that convergent devices will surely win in the mass marketplace, because people want to spend as little as possible and carry as few gadgets as necessary.

And, a month ago, I argued on CNN that large handheld hard drives and high speed wireless networks (not to mention the easy sync functionality) would enable phone manufacturers to make radical leaps in the convergent market.

That is a whole lot of intro to get to this: Ericcson and Napster have teamed up to deliver music to mobile phones (and Sony will be releasing a Walkman-branded phone this summer), according to this Reuters story.

They will license the Napster-branded music service to mobile phone carriers, much as Ericsson currently sells services such as text messaging and voice mail.

What the article doesn’t say is whether users will download songs over a wireless network (which would likely be cumbersome) or simply sync the phone with a PC.

This topic has generated much interest from our readers, and, quite selfishly, I would love for that to continue – if for no other reason than it helps me go up against Wade.

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