Separated at birth?

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Feedback

Several listeners have pointed out the fact the the Motorola E1 ROKR phone looks almost identical to the Motorola E398 (see picture). The obvious difference is the ROKR is white and adds the iTunes button, but considering the E398 has MP3 and MPEG4 support I think it is easy to tell that Motorola probably didn’t have to do much engineering on this phone. Some are already speculating on E398 hacks to add iTunes support. I still say it’s too bad Apple didn’t insist Motorola adapt the way slicker and cooler RAZR design especially in light of the Nano. I hate convergence as you know, but at least if you do it make it look cool.

There are 7 comments on Separated at birth?:

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  1. RocketCat (DK) | Sep 12 2005 - 10:14

    i guess i kinda feel sorry for Apple for this, its so lame that they just use an exsiting phone :(

  2. Justin Winokur | Sep 12 2005 - 01:23

    To be honest, i don’t oppose convergence but this is really just useless. I could get a phone and a nano for the same price. I just wish apple could design thier own phone.

  3. GreenAlien | Sep 12 2005 - 04:06

    I wish Apple could design their own phone too. Motorola have a very poor track record when doing projects with other companies and I think Apple would be better off working with a european handset manufacturer like Sony Ericsson or Nokia. It’s a pity that Ericsson and Sony got together, because Ericsson would of been perfect. I love the idea of convergence – it’s far more convenient. The only reason iPod remains the best experience is because Apple lock down their technology in a monopolistic way. There’s no technical reason why a mobile phone can’t be as good as an iPod Mini/Nano. Apple just need to open up iTunes and license their DRM. Personally I hate DRM and I buy my music on CDs to ensure I’m in control of the music I own, so just being able to add my phone to iTune’s source list and sync would be perfect for me…

  4. Unixrocks | Sep 12 2005 - 06:48

    Yup – would be great if they could but they cant.

    I have been involved in new phone releases by various maufacturers. Typically the hardware sucks, the software sucks, and trying to get a phone functional is a tough, convoluted process.

    Apple had to get the itunes name out there on the mobile phones before napster or someone else did I would guess.

    I cant believe Apple actually convinced a carrier to go with the idea of side stepping the over the air music delivery.

    I dont see what good it does the carrier aside from being a partner with Apple since they dont make much on the hardware to start with.

    Maybe they see it as an opporunity to get their foot in the door really quick and then they can build a delivery solution later. (Althougth Apple has already said they dont want people paying much above .99 cents per song regardless of the delivery method)

    Or maybe the carrier figures it can recoup its money by another halo effect. IE kids arent going to want a phone that dosent plug-in to the itunes network so by sheer subscription numberws they will make up for not being able to charge for the songs.

    I havent test drove one of these yet but if it cant at least sync contacts with addressbook or something as well as sync with itunes then this would be a huge disappointment.

    This is either going to fizzle out as painfully as it started or its going to be huge – I am betting on the former but its anybodys guess – still that nano is really cool aint it? =-)

  5. ihatebillg | Sep 13 2005 - 07:38

    just read the info on the “itunes phone driver 1.1″ in software update
    it says”iTunes 4.9 or later features the ability to transfer music to mobile phones. This driver is required for iTunes to communicate with these supported mobile phones.”
    “these supported mobile phones” that would mean more than one model of phone.


  6. jon from vancouver | Sep 13 2005 - 06:41

    The E398 has been out for a long time, and there was a hack already at HowardForums that gave owners access to iTunes. The story is only coming out now, because everyone is noticing the similarities with the new phone. Many people who own this phone, or keep up with Motorola phones and hacks, knew they could play iTunes already. That’s why this new phone isn’t a big wow factor, it doesn’t break any new ground like the iPod did.

  7. Jeff | Sep 14 2005 - 05:00

    I personally like the black one (E398) better. Personally, I think the ROKR is ugly in color, and fat in shape and size. I’d much rather get a RAZR and a Nano (black, obviously). I’d get way more function, and a better look.