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Motorola E790 (iTunes phone) Rumours

 Motorola E790 screenshots Available now
8th May 2005

Note: The E790 has been confirmed as the Motorola ROKR.

Motorola's iTunes phone has been rumoured now for several months, and the official announcement has been pushed back for so far undisclosed reasons. However, Motorola are fairly notorious for leaking out information before the official product launch and there now appears to be enough intelligence to put together a picture.

 Motorola E790 The iTunes phone appears to be the Motorola E790, a handset based on the same hardware platform as the E398 and C698p devices. This makes the E790 a tri-band GSM phone with Bluetooth, a 176x220 pixel display, VGA resolution camera and microSD/TransFlash removable memory, probably up to a maximum of 1Gb storage.

It's possible that Motorola will want to fit a better camera than the VGA resolution device, and perhaps do further cosmetic work on the casing to make the handset more "iPod-like", but at present the E790 just seems to be a warmed over existing handset.

Add to that an email client, web browser, Java support and the usual features, plus the E398's stereo speakers and you get a handset that's a capable music phone, but really nothing special.

In fact, from the specifications and details we've seen so far, the Motorola E790 looks to be disappointing. Sure, the white colour scheme looks pretty cool but then so does the Sony Ericsson T630, and the device lacks the high resolution screen of the Sony Ericsson W800 too. What appears to have happened is that the E398's software has been rewritten to tie in with the Apple iTunes back end, and other than that everything else appears to be the same.

But by far the biggest disappointment is the apparent lack of 3G. Both Nokia and Samsung understand that a true music phone needs 3G speeds to make it viable, with the powerful but fairly ugly Nokia N91 and Samsung i300 handsets. GSM speeds just aren't sufficient for downloading high quality audio tracks.

How certain are we of this rumour? Well, we are 90% certain that the E790 is the correct designation for the iTunes phone and that it has a screen resolution of 176x220 pixels, and 75% certain that the E790 is based directly on the E398 platform. However, it could well be that the E790 will never be released given past experience with Motorola handsets, and perhaps Motorola will replace it with something more capable.. watch this space!

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Motorola E790 Provisional Specifications




Tri-band GSM




176x220 pixels, 65,000 colours


640x480 pixels (0.3 megapixels)


Standard candy bar
108x46x21mm / 110 grams approx









Battery life:

7 hours talk / 10 days standby


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