New iPod Cellphone Will Expand Citizen Marketing

    August 31, 2005

iPod says “Hello Moto.” At least, The New York Times is cautiously suggesting it will ….

Apple Computer and Motorola plan to unveil a long-awaited mobile phone and music player next week that will incorporate Apple’s iTunes software. The development marks a melding of two of the digital era’s most popular devices, the cellphone and the iPod.


This story started online earlier this week at Apple Insider. Apple and Motorola will need to answer some questions regarding downloading and storing songs on the phones. The iPod “pennies per song” business model might conflict with the “every second counts” approach wireless carriers appear to use.

Regardless, the hottest gadget converging with the ever-present cellphone has big marketing implications. We’ve discussed the need for more creative uses of new technology. Kraft Foods offers recipes for download to iPods. Perhaps now these recipes can also be sent to friends using the phone? Memory-rich iPods represent an untapped communication channel for marketers. Cellphone capabilities make this opportunity hard to ignore assuming your target audience is gadget-friendly.

Case in point: Pete Blackshaw has research noting that white ear buds signal a CGM-savvy audience.

iPodders have more CGM tools in their arsenal, and hence greater impact/amplification. If you know iPodders (or any influencer) are in your database, consider sending early news or product “samples” to them first. They’ll spread the word faster. Just make sure they like the product. Early movers, trendsetters and trend “spreaders” are increasingly reaching for forums, boards, and blogs over email.


Hopefully Apple and Motorola are already tuned in to the consumer-generated media being created over this announcement. One Apple Fanatic even dreamed up his renditions of what the iPod Cellphone might look like-nearly a year ago.

Heck, even Bill Gates saw this coming.

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Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

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