Jobs hints at wireless music downloads on the iPhone

What's absent from the iPhone now may be added in the near future.

From the moment Apple announced its iPhone at Macworld 2007, a few common criticisms of the device have been reported again and again. Among them is a lack of 3G support, no capability for wireless music downloads from iTunes, and a convoluted compatibility with corporate e-mail system. The first reviews of the iPhone have reflected these concerns, but up until now, Apple hasn't addressed them directly.

What it lacks it soon could have. Apple.com

That changed today when Apple CEO Steve Jobs dropped ever-so subtle hints that the iPhone may download music wirelessly and accommodate work-friendly applications in the near future. "There are a lot of things you can imagine down the road," Jobs said when asked if over-the-air music will ever be a reality. Granted, that not an admission, but it's not a denial either.

During the interview with The Wall Street Journal Jobs went on to say that corporate-friendly applications are on the way from third-party sources. He didn't make any specific promises, but he mentioned that Salesforce.com will be in the game. He also said VOIP applications are in the works and added that he didn't put the technology in the iPhone from the start because Apple doesn't consider VOIP to be a big breakthrough.

In other tidbits from the interview, Jobs said that Apple dropped 3G from the iPhone because the chipsets took up too much space and they were too much of a drain on the battery. But again, he did not rule out adding the technology in the future. "Down the road, I'm sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G, but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision," he said. In the meantime, however, Jobs and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson are confident the iPhone's Wi-Fi and EDGE network compatibility will be enough.

And regarding its partnership with AT&T--another source of iPhone criticism--Jobs said Apple had considered an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) but decided against it because it "would be a big waste of energy." Finally, he wouldn't elaborate on which carriers Apple would partner with in other countries.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

 

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