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Did you know that the first "iTunes phone" presented by Steve Jobs was not an iPhone?

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Did you know that the first
While the 2007 iPhone was Apple’s very first smartphone, it was not the world’s first handset to come with iTunes. Almost three years before launching the iPhone, in the summer of 2004, Apple announced an agreement to “bring iTunes music player to Motorola’s next-generation mobile phones.” Thus, in 2005, the Motorola ROKR E1 was born, and Steve Jobs proudly presented it in September that year as “the iTunes phone.” But don’t just take our word for it, there’s a video of the presentation embedded below.

In Steve Jobs’ words, the Motorola ROKR E1 was “pretty cool”, offering “an iPod shuffle right on your phone,” and “built in stereo speakers that are quite good.” Users were able to store up to 100 iTunes songs on the handset, which had a dedicated button for instant access to the iTunes player.

iTunes aside, the E1 featured a 1.9-inch TFT color display with 176 x 220 pixels, a VGA camera, and microSD card support. The Motorola ROKR E1 with iTunes was exclusively sold by Cingular (now AT&T) for $249.99 (with a two-year contract agreement), and wasn’t exactly a success. 

Eventually, Apple and Motorola ended their partnership before the first iPhone model was announced in January 2007. 

reference: Apple

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posted on 08 Jun 2014, 23:48 1

1. enthasuium (Posts: 138; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)

i dont mind!! But when apple and their ifan says "they introduced it"" then....

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 00:00 10

2. amats69 (Posts: 1523; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

U dont mind but youre here and ur the first one posted a comment in this apple article?

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 00:01 7

3. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

iPhone is the only apple product that cannot be justified. It's simply inadequate compared to its competitors.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 00:58 2

5. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

That is going to leave a mark on some.

For dropping gauntlets.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 01:07 5

6. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

No to mention insanely overpriced and more expensive than a ducking iPad!

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 01:16 2

8. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

The costs of being fashionable.
Fashion is a gravy train that can't be stopped.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 02:23

9. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

iP6 doesn't come too early at all, that's for sure.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 00:33 1

4. ojdidit84 (Posts: 458; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)

I remember this phone. I was kinda pissed that they didn't offer it on Sprint because I was looking for a phone with a decent media player at the time.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 06:48

13. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1122; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

My sister had this phone, we found it a few weeks ago and it still works apart from the LCD backlight which broke from a drop, the speakers on this thing are unbelievable, my HTC One is barely audible next to this thing, any surface the phone is on while playing music you can hear the vibrations from the powerful bass this thing produces.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 01:08 1

7. imparanoic (Posts: 88; Member since: 15 Oct 2012)

classic case of non-traditional manufacturer collaborates with traditional manufacturer, we know who had the raw deal, apple probably needed experimental test marketing without the risk of losing money, Motorola probably lost money on this deal

same what happened with sega and Microsoft with dreamcast, and look what happened to sega after this and how ms gained experience from this without any losses and developed there own

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 02:54

10. paulyyd (Posts: 339; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)

Lol you bros sound mad again

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 06:23 2

11. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Yea some of us knew this.

I for one am glad the Moto and Apple relationship didnt last long.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 06:23

12. iMemo (Posts: 113; Member since: 22 Feb 2014)

Same hateful comments everytime. Don't you guys ever get tired?!!!

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 07:43

14. iphoneman37 (Posts: 42; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

I still have that phone lying around love the ring lights .

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 07:48

15. ZeneticX (Posts: 63; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

i still have the non iTunes variant of this phone, the E398. but its modded with a custom fw so it comes with iTunes and performs the same with E1

the speakers on this phone is beast. its like BoomSound those days, and BoomSound isn't even good compared to this thing

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 10:07

18. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1122; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

I agree with you, this phone had actual "BOOM"Sound, the one i heard had modified firmware with even louder sound, even though Boomsound is much more clearer this absolutely destroys it with a much more fullness and low frequency presence.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 08:59

16. tokuzumi (Posts: 1211; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)

I can't remember if the 2004 me would have thought that was cool, or not. But, at that time, I was carrying a Nextel i85, so I didn't have much room to say what was cool, and what wasn't....I think I was about to get my first flip phone.

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 10:05 1

17. exMSFT (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Jun 2014)


The whole story is that the iPod was invented at Microsoft by my buddy who worked in the Windows CE team but they were short sighted, arrogant idiots. Every week at the team meetings they would ask what new ideas there were for what they could do with the device; except for Sam's stupid idea to make it play music -- because no one would want that!

Sam ignored the directive and got some developers to port a codec to the device and he went to Tony Fidell at Phillips, one of our main ISVs for the Windows CE. He showed him what he had and talked Tony into putting a stereo jack in the device.

Well, Tony left Phillips and found Steve Jobs who saw the potential (unlike the Microsoft team who laughed at it for years).

You should interview both of these guys and write a follow-up piece.

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