Tuesday, October 25, 2005

No Love for the ROKR

Mobilcast makes the ROKR behave more like a real mobile media device. But it's apparently not enough. Bloomberg reports that sales of the ROKR are disappointing, and returns are higher than expected.

Not surprising.

We use ROKRs here to show off Mobilcast, and it does a good job of highlighting the product. It even has easy access to one of our favorite features--Tell a Friend, which allows me to SMS the link to the client between phones. But as a music device the ROKR is poor execution of a great idea. Counting the missteps:

1. Hard coded limit at 100 songs. That's quite a few, but far less than a comparably priced iPod.
2. No over the air download. Mobile music means over the air download. No way Apple is going to allow that because they haven't figure out how to monetize it yet.

Let's stop there.

Looking at this I think the blame is more with Apple than Motorola. Apple is trying to protect its iPod turf. In fact a well placed source of our's said that Apple views the ROKR as the low end device, followed by the Shuffle, Nano, and iPod. No way the ROKR can win when it's being nitched behind the shuffle.

There's a bright side for us in that every time someone sees a ROKR then sees our platform we win hearts and minds. But it's disappointing that the industries first big, visible music phone push falls well short of expectations and promise.


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  2. absolutely
    the rokr is one of if not
    the worst audio device ever
    we can only hope it'll reach
    high prices on ebay
    as few years from now as the
    gadget that apple sabotaged most