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Motorola gets FCC approval for iTunes phone

But that doesn't mean the device's arrival is imminent, or that it will necessarily be the first iTunes-capable phone on the market. Photo: iTunes phone inches closer

Motorola is one step closer to launching its long-awaited iTunes phone.

According to documents posted to the Federal Communications Commission's Web site on Saturday, Motorola has received regulatory approval to start selling a cell phone that runs a mobile version of Apple Computer's iTunes software.


A user manual posted on the FCC site shows that the Motorola E790 can run a cell phone version of iTunes and will contain stereo speakers, removable flash memory and Bluetooth technology for short-range radio communications with other devices.

"iTunes is a software application you use to manage the music on your computer and transfer music to your phone," the manual states. "You can use iTunes to purchase and download music for your phone, listen to CDs and digital music, and create playlists of your favorite songs on your phone."

Apple and Motorola have been promising such a phone for more than a year, though the plans have been delayed several times. Last month, Motorola CEO Ed Zander said the first iTunes-capable phone would be on the market by the end of the company's current fiscal quarter, which runs through September.

A Motorola spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the FCC documents. An Apple representative confirmed the company's earlier statement that an iTunes-compatible phone will ship this summer but had no further comment.

"As we've said before, Motorola and Apple are partnering to enable millions of music lovers to transfer their favorite iTunes songs to Motorola's next-generation mobile music phones," the Apple representative told CNET News.com.

The E790 manual was posted as one of the documents accompanying the regulatory approval on the FCC's Web site. Such approval is required before a wireless device can be sold to consumers in the United States. The device itself was approved in July, though the iTunes information was only posted to the site on Saturday.

The photo that accompanies the application shows the E398, which is already on the market and may be similar in design to the iTunes-capable phone.

FCC approval, in and of itself, though, does not mean that the arrival of the E790 is imminent, or that it will necessarily be the first iTunes-capable phone on the market.

Word of the FCC's approval and the iTunes mention was earlier noted on several enthusiast sites, including AppleInsider and PhoneArena.

Apple's latest version of iTunes, iTunes 4.9, contained