According to The Wall Street Journal, those in the know are predicting Cingular to announce a music service for its cellphone network as early as tomorrow. It seems that despite rampant rumoring of an iPhone and related wireless iTunes service, Cingular is taking things into its own hands -- with a little help from Napster, Yahoo and eMusic. Initially the service will just involve rolling out PlaysForSure functionality to handsets so that they can play subscription tracks from the major non-Apple music services, but Cingular is also planning a wireless music store with pay-per-track and all-you-can-eat offerings. The phones will also purportedly feature Cingular's "Music ID" tech that will allow a user to hold the phone up to a speaker and have the song playing automatically matched with the Napster database and available for purchase. Of course, there's enough room in the world for more than one music service, and right now it appears Cingular is fine with squeezing both Apple and the PFS onto its network. The word is that (as rumored) Apple and Cingular have signed a deal to co-develop an iPhone, and the same article predicts a January launch at the Macworld Expo. Apple also has recently been awarded a phone-related speech recognition system that adds even more fuel to the fire. Being the seasoned iPhone rumor-mongers we are, we'll take all of these reports with a few grains of salt and sit back to see what actually happens.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Read - Cingular to announce music service [Thanks, Maurice]
Read - Apple and Cingular forge iPhone deal [Thanks, Ben]