Editor's Corner

Motorola, Cingular Wireless and Apple are at it again with a second iTunes phone, hoping it will be better received than the first one (the ROKR), which had limited memory and took too long to transfer music. The SLVR L7 doesn't fix these problems, however. But Motorola is hoping that since the SLVR looks a lot like the popular-selling RAZR, it can convince people to buy the phone for the way it looks rather than what it can do. Motorola says the phone is part of its "self-expression portfolio." You can come to your own conclusions on that one.

Perhaps more interesting is Cingular's plans for the phone. It does not yet offer a service that allows customers to download music wirelessly like competitors Sprint and Verizon. A Cingular spokeswoman declined to say what kind of financial relationship Cingular has with Apple but indicated that Cingular continues to see a strong potential here. Could that mean a bigger relationship with Apple in the future for wireless downloads? Apple, the world's dominant digital music supplier, has flaunted the fact that it doesn't need mobile operators to drive more success to the company, but if Cingular is patient in working out terms--even first allowing devices like the SLVR, from which it probably receives no revenue sharing from Apple--such a deal could be a major coup for the operator. And it won't matter how late Cingular is to the wireless music download game. - Lynnette