That light in the distance could well be an oncoming train as Apple quietly confirmed that an iTunes phone is on its way. Confirmation came through the fact that the company has embedded iconography, commmand lines as well as actions into the latest release of iTunes (4.9). Motorola, Apple’s partner, has made many promises but the iTunes update coupled with the forthcoming announcement that Motorola/Apple have an operator partner in the US points to a July release date in the US.

Mobile digital music has had a high profile of late with many published stories predicting the end of the iPod under the weight of 750 million mobile phones. However, the likelihood is that both Napter and Apple will have a mobile presence before the end of the year and the operators will have to start having a long, hard look at whether music really is a viable add-on and investment for their businesses or perhaps they’re better off handing that job to someone else …

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