It's no secret that the
ROKR E1 hasn't been a
raging success — you know it, we know it, and both Motorola and Cingular know it (Apple knows it too, but whether or
not they care is another matter). Not sure why anyone thought that repurposing an aging handset like the E398 for the
the first iTunes phone was a good idea (except maybe to save development time), but the real genius move was the E1's
100 song cap. The arbitrariness of the cap only alienated savvy consumers and the overall clunkiness of the E1 wasn't
helped by Apple's decision to announce the sleek
iPod nano the same day.
Anyway, it sounds like Motorola is determined not to screw up the second ROKR. They've always said that the E1 was only the first of what would be many ROKR musicphones, and they've revealed to BusinessWeek that early next year they'll be dropping a slider-style ROKR with better industrial design and a one megapixel camera, a regular 3.5mm headphone jack, and the ability to store up to 1000 songs (which implies that it'll have around 4GB of storage). The only catch is that the phone might not actually have iTunes on it — Moto exec Ron Garriques says that that is up to Cingular and Apple (and to be fair they've always said that there would be ROKRs without iTunes).