A Finnish newspaper started rumors that Nokia's forthcoming N91 music phone, with a 4GB hard drive, would ship with iTunes on it -- a rumor Nokia quickly scotched. In denying the rumor, Nokia brought up the point that because the N91's a smartphone (meaning it runs a distinct operating system and third-party applications can be installed on it), Apple -- or anybody else for that matter -- is free to develop applications for it. That's the PR way of putting the ball back in Apple's court. The fact of the matter is, though, Apple probably won't do that, or develop a Java version, because it's really not in their interest to do so. Mobile phones with hard drives like the N91 are built up in the press as "iPod killers" -- why would Apple do anything to help kill the iPod? Remember that iTunes songs are loss leaders intended to shift more iPods, so it makes no sense for Apple to make them work on devices that they're not getting paid for. That's something that makes us wonder just how much Motorola's paying for the privilege of making (or, rather, still not making) the iTunes phone.
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