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Device combines two staples of campus life

Many students rarely leave home without their music and their cell phone.

Now the two have been combined.

A product introduced by Apple and Motorola on Wednesday puts the technology of an MP3 player into a cell phone.

The ROKR comes with iTunes and a color display. Users can import music (up to 100 songs), podcasts and playlists from their iTunes libraries using a USB connection.

Apple and Motorola worked to deliver “the world’s best music experience on a mobile phone,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a news release.

The ROKR is the industry’s first phone that has iTunes technology, but it joins the ranks of similar phones, such as the Motorola E815 and the Sony Ericsson W800i, which also offer MP3 playing capabilities.

The ROKR is expected to be a big hit for the holidays, said chairman and CEO of Motorola Ed Zander in a news release.

“I think they’ll sell well because they’re compact and easy to use,” said Eddie Vang, a biology junior.

For iPod users around campus, the ROKR may not be an immediate necessity. History, global studies and art history junior Ranju Thomas said she prefers to keep both gadgets because iPods and other personal MP3 players offer mobility.

But “for people who don’t have an iPod, it’s a great idea,” she said.

In a special event Wednesday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Apple unveiled its newest version of the iPod, the Nano, alongside the ROKR.

The Nano is the sleekest model in the iPod family, and comes 2GB and 4GB models, which hold approximately 500 and 1,000 songs, respectively.

The iPod Nano starts at $199, is offered in black and white, and weighs 1.5 ounces.

Apple Corporation holds an 82 percent market share in MP3 players in the United States and has sold 500 million songs on iTunes. iTunes digital music stores are available in 20 countries worldwide, and accounts for 85 percent of the global market.

Several attempts by The Minnesota Daily to reach Motorola were unsuccessful.

The new phone, which has a talk-time of up to nine hours, is available through Cingular and costs $249.99 with a two-year agreement.

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