On the back of Motorola and Apple's launch of the world's first iTunes phone in Australia, Singapore, Philippines and Israel, Motorola Southern Africa has announced that it is considering a local launch this year with a potential partner.

The company believes the long-awaited launch of the Motorola ROKR E1 handset is expected to revolutionise the way the consumers around the world experience mobile self-expression and entertainment.

"The Motorola ROKR represents the ultimate convergence of mobile communications and music " says Stephen Nolan, Country Manager of Motorola Southern Africa. "With the inclusion of the iTunes interface on the Motorola handset, consumers will not only discover and acquire new music and multimedia on-the-go but begin to realise the promise of content "rich" mobile broadband."

Motorola claims the ROKR E1's "easy-to-use menus, simple navigation and playback", and the ability to simply switch from listening to music to talking on the phone and back again - with the push of a dedicated music key - will also make the experience "completely compelling" for the consumer.

"Motorola's leadership in delivering unique mobile experiences is driven by a relentless pursuit of understanding consumer needs and creating solutions to drive our operator partners' businesses," says Nolan. 

Global mobile users' trends have overwhelmingly identified music as a significant lifestyle influence and as an outlet for entertainment.  More importantly, says the company, mobile users want to listen to music on their phones.

"Beyond simply enjoying your collection while on the go, Motorola believes our connected devices are the ideal platform for enabling users to discover and acquire music.  Motorola is uniquely positioned to deliver convergence devices with no-compromise audio capabilities, " concludes Nolan. 

Motorola claims that it has focused on providing consumers with an easy way to take their music and multimedia collection with them by leveraging the operator available value added services (VAS), namely MMS, Video Mail, WAP, PTT, music related services and mp3 playback via handsets offerings like the V360 and V1050.

ROKR E1 Key Features include:

- Apple iTunes mobile music player with dedicated one-touch music key
- Supported Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, and protected AAC2
- Video clip capture and playback
- TransFlash memory expansion Slot
- Large, active color display (176 x 220)
- Multi-Media Messaging (MMS) 
- Integrated VGA camera with photo indicator LED
- 3D Stereo Sound via 22 KHz enhanced polyphonic speakers with vibration and rhythm lights for enhanced music experiences
- Integrated Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free connectivity
- Enhanced Games with vibration
- PIM functionality with Picture Caller ID