Softbank, Apple to develop iPod mobile phones

15 May 2006

Japanese internet and telecoms conglomerate Softbank Corp is believed to have teamed up with Apple Computer Inc to jointly develop mobile telephones with built-in iPod music players. According to reports on Nihon Keizai Shimbun’s website, if successful, Softbank customers would be able to download songs directly from Apple’s iTunes Music Store. The report went on to say that the pair have agreed terms to co-develop the dual-branded phone for commercial launch – possibly as early as this year. Softbank, which has agreed to buy Vodafone’s Japanese mobile phone business, could look to use the power of Apple’s brand to compete against mobile market leaders NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp.