Motorola CEO: iTunes phone coming soon

Chief exec Ed Zander touts solid quarter, says long-awaited iTunes phone will debut "in the next few months."

Motorola CEO Ed Zander hailed a solid quarter for the phone maker and promised that the long-awaited, oft-delayed iTunes phone will debut soon.

In a conference call to discuss the company's first-quarter results on Wednesday, Zander said the company has had "another bang-up quarter" and will be looking to new technologies to drive growth.

"We see continued opportunity for profitable growth...driven by investment in (research and development) that delivers new product designs and experiences based on 3G and eventually 4G technology," as well as the continuing use of the Java Linux software platform and brand development, Zander said.

Push to view, the video equivalent of push to talk, is "right around the corner," he added.

Motorola shipped 28.7 million handsets worldwide in its first quarter--a year-over-year increase of 13 percent. Its market share also grew and now stands at just over 17 percent.

Zander also said that the iTunes phone "will be coming out in the next few months."

The companies announced in July that they would be releasing the phone, but despite repeated promises, a concrete commercial launch date has not been forthcoming.

A Motorola representative confirmed that the phone will be available in the first half of this year.

The delays in the launch of the phone have prompted speculation that some major U.S. carriers are hesitant to stock the phones, which would encourage consumers to buy music on a computer rather than over a phone network.

The Motorola representative denied that was the case, however.

Jo Best of reported from London.

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