Posted: July 2nd, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 7 Comments »
Earlier this evening I was reading this Fortune article on the success of the Motorola RAZR. While skimming the article I couldn’t help but look at the graphic to the right and say “that’s it?” My fellow Mobitopians and I have been watching the total number of Symbian phones shipped quietly and spectacularly increase. Here’s a quick breakdown:
It’s been really amazing watching these quarterly reports over the years. The total number of units shipped per quarter continues to rise, and per usual, Symbian is quietly outselling RAZRs and iPods alike.
So congratulations, Apple and Motorola, you’ve shipped a lot of units. It’s time to get back to work though, you have some catching up to do.
Update: The Symbian numbers are indeed cumulative.Â I quoted cumulative units shipped because that’s what the chart from Fortune depicts.Â For further analysis, check out this post on techtype.
Posted: June 30th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Linux, Mobile | 1 Comment »
It’s not on the official Nokia software download page yet, but I just flashed my Nokia 770 to the final release of Internet Tablet OS 2006 from the Maemo download page.
I can’t wait to play with the gizmo 770 client.
The OS ships with links to tableteer.nokia.com, which looks really sweet on the 770 (see more screenshots here):
The application manager also includes http://catalogue.tableteer.nokia.com/certified/ and http://catalogue.tableteer.nokia.com/non-certified/ as default repositories. These currently only contain themes and a game, but there is tons of potential here. This is a great way to deploy new software for the 770 without requiring a flash. I would love it if the gizmo client or other official third-party apps end up in the certified repos and it would be great if Nokia made it easy for open source developers to get their software included in the non-certified repository.
Posted: May 28th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile, Web Services | 14 Comments »
I was catching up on reddit this morning and stumbled upon a link to GCALSYNC, a j2me app still in its early stages that allows you to sync your mobile phone’s calendar with your google calendar. I immediately got excited and went to try it out as a replacement for my current iCal/iSync setup.
I navigated over to wap.gcalsync.com using Opera on my Nokia 6682.
While I’m on the subject of Opera, if you’re using Opera for S60, run don’t walk to the 8.60 upgrade, it’s really amazing!
I downloaded the GCALSYNC jad, the installer launched, and I went through the usual “this is untrusted, install anyway?” dialog. This is something I’m used to, but I wasn’t ready for the “Authorization Failed” popup to end my install process.
I’m not sure if the install is failing because of a problem with the JAD/JAR or if the phone is refusing to install it because it uses the calendar API (or possibly another security API). My gut is telling me that it’s the latter because of an entry under known bugs on the GCALSYNC web page:
SecurityException: On Cingular (US mobile operator), the phone calendar is not available due to Cingular security restrictions. “Test” fails with a SecurityException whne testing phone calendar if you have this problem.
The workaround (if you ever manage to install it) is to bypass login information and link to your private calendar address, only allowing GCALSYNC to download information from your calendar, not upload information to it.
So what gives? Is the phone that I paid a decent chunk of change for (on contract) so locked down that I can’t use this compelling J2ME app on it? Is there any way that I (as an end user) or the developers of GCALSYNC can get around it?
I sure hope so, because this app looks totally awesome.
After catching up with me in the comments section of the GCALSYNC reddit post, Thomas has released an updated version which asks “pretty please” for permission to do something.Â With that modification GCALSYNC now installs on my phone.Â Thanks to Cingular’s lockdown though, I can only get at my calendars via the private feed which still means read-only data.
Posted: March 20th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Java, Mobile | 81 Comments »
A few years ago (mid-2004 I think) I got really excited about SNAP (scalable network application package). I haven’t heard much about it since (not that I had been looking very hard), but I saw it pop up again today at Forum Nokia, and I think it’s worth a fresh look. There’s a flash site explaining the tech, but the really good stuff looks like it just hit Forum Nokia:
I really wish that I had enough time to read all this stuff, since it’s absolutely fascinating to me. I’ll try to download a couple of these to my 770 and read them when I get a chance. It looks like some really sweet stuff has been done with SNAP while I haven’t been looking. In particular, Nitro Spin Racer reminds me of RC Pro-Am and I so want to play it. There are a couple of other games that look pretty compelling too.
Posted: February 11th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 35 Comments »
I’m a little dissapointed that NBC isn’t featuring their mobile Olympic coverage very well, but once you get there, it’s pretty good. After watching parts of the opening ceremony last night, I hopped on the official NBC Olympics site looking for the mobile coverage that had been hinted at during the broadcast.
The only mention of mobile on the homepage points you in the direction of the NBC Sports Mobile Store:
You have to dodge cheezy ringtones, wallpaper, and j2me games to get to the clearance rack in the back that I call “content.” It turns out that in order to get the secret password that lets you in to the mobile NBC Olympics site, you have to text NBCTV (that’s 62288) the message TORINO. What was that? Oh, the sound of fifty cents being drained from my wallet. I guess that’s not too bad, because they send a carrier-specific link for Sprint and Cingular, and there appears to be a generic default too. I may be a freak, but I would have preferred to type a URL in to my phone than deal with a SMS roundtrip. Oh well.
Once I made it to the mobile site, I was presented with a simple but useful menu. On the left is the Cingular menu using the built-in browser on my 6682, on the right is the Sprint version using Opera Mini on my 6682:
It’s interesting to note that the only real difference is the links to the carrier homepage (minor usability bonus points) and the online store link on Cingular. From the front page you can get a list of stories, check the tv schedule, and check up on the medal count. Here are some examples of the interior pages (designed for Sprint) using Opera Mini and the medal count page (designed for Cingular) using the built-in browser on my 6682:
While the information presented on the mobile site is pretty useful, it’s a tiny fraction of the information that is on the NBC Olympics desktop site, and almost feels like a thinly veiled excuse to hock ringtones and wallpaper. I really wish that NBC were able to cram some of the in-depth event coverage on to mobile devices. For example, would it be absolutely impossible to slap a mobile template on the live luge coverage?
To be fair, NBC has set up an email and SMS alert system that lets you receive updates about broad categories all the way down to specific events. They also have an extensive list of RSS feeds, though the few I’ve looked at are not valid and contain partial itunes information as well as thumbnails that my aggregator would pass over because it’s in an
I definitely have mixed feelings about the mobile coverage that NBC is doing of the Olympics. On the one hand, mobile design and development isn’t easy, and they do have some content online. On the other hand, they make it pretty hard to get to and it feels like they’re just trying to sell me some vaguely related ringtones while I’m there. I do have to give them some geek props though for using Jakarta Tapestry and its mobile markup capabilities on Gentoo running on AMD64 hardware (see stacktrace).
If you’d like to check out the mobile NBC Olympics site on your phone (and would rather not shell out for a couple of SMSes), here’s where to go:
While I wasn’t impressed with the mobile coverage, I was absolutely blown away by the video coverage on Sprint’s Power Vision. If you have a Power Vision phone, check out Sprint TV -> Sprint TV Live -> NBC Mobile Olympics. I checked it out just after NBC finished airing the opening ceremonies in Kansas and they were already covering alpine skiing practice and qualifiers. I can’t put in words how much this blew me away. More on that later.
Posted: January 28th, 2006 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Django, Mobile, Python | 48 Comments »
Over the past few days I’ve been spending some free time and downtime tweaking mobile.kusports.com and adding a couple of really cool (IMHO) features. We send out a ton of cel phone updates during each game, but I really wanted to bring our awesome live stats to mobile devices.
The first order of business was to see how the low-tech live stats view looked on the mobile site. Since pretty much all of our templates extend a base template, it looked pretty darn good out of the box (thanks to template inheritance and some great default templates by Wilson and David). Most of the time spent on this template was to condense the stats a little bit to require less scrolling on small devices. Here is the live stats view using Opera Mini on my 6682:
Having the live stats accessable from mobile devices is great, but it’s important to make it extremely easy for someone to get to them if they come to mobile.kusports.com while a game is in progress. The solution was to present the current score on the home page if and only if a game is in progress. This was accomplished by writing a custom template tag (which took literally a few minutes) and a tweak to the home page template:
Now the score and the stats are first and foremost while there’s a game on, but nowhere to be found if there isn’t. The last thing I wanted to do was to make sure that the current score (and a link to the live stats) was available from other interior pages in an unobtrusive way. I figure that if someone is reading a story or viewing photos while a game is on, they probably wouldn’t mind knowing the current score either. I decided to present the information without announcing itself quite as loudly as the score on the home page:
I hope to do some more tweaking of our mobile sites here and there as free time permits, and I’ll do my best to highlight the changes here if I think they are particularly clever.
Posted: November 7th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 55 Comments »
There goes Google, taking it to the next level again. Their latest offering is Google Local for Mobile. What they’ve done is essentially taken the Ajax model for desktop browsers and brought it the phone using J2ME. The idea is to have a fairly lightweight MIDlet (38k for the MIDP2 version) that then grabs all the data neccesary from the network.
While this isn’t a horribly new idea, I think in this case it’s all about execution. Check out the tour to see everything that they’ve crammed in to this midlet. Your basic search is there, directions are there, simple smooth navigation is there. The interface is clean but at the same time there is a ton of information at your fingertips. They’ve also managed to cram driving directions in there, which is something I miss from MGMaps. To be fair, MGMaps has had a j2me interface to Google Maps for quite some time now and it’s the most used MIDlet on my phone. More than once it has helped me figure out where I am or where I’m trying to go.
I’m glad to see Google pushing the mobile space like this. At the same time with mobile devices and J2ME you’re going to run in to some glitches. For example, I snagged the JAD by going to google.com/glm with Opera on my phone. It snagged the JAD and started installing it. After downloading it promptly ran out of memory and quit the installer. This isn’t Google’s fault, it’s the 6682′s known lack of a decent amount of memory. What worries me is that if the installation process failed on a rather high end device, I worry about how it would do on a super generic low end flippy. What is even worse is that after downloading and bluetoothing the JAR to my phone, I don’t get any farther than a bunch of “Loading…” on my screen. It looks pretty and fun in the emulator though.
While there are still some growing pains to get through, Google is definitely on to something. To get around the problem of mobile browsers sucking, why not just get rid of the browser completely?
Update: Thanks for the comments everyone. On Niels‘ suggestion I tried Other -> Nokia -> 6682 and it worked like a charm. Someone needs to fix the Cingular -> Nokia -> 6682 JAD.
Posted: November 2nd, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile, Open Source | 9 Comments »
Lots of stuff is coming out of Finland via Barcelona today from their Nokia Mobility Conference. Here’s a quick roundup:
Wow, that’s a lot of stuff to digest, but I’m really excited. Like Ewan, I think the N80′s form factor along with its quad-band dual-WCDMA-ness could just about make it the killer allover worldphone.
Posted: November 1st, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Apple, Mobile | Comments Off
I really don’t know how I ever got along without iSync. It managed to do in just a few minutes what I didn’t have the patience for: synching the contacts between my three Series 60 phones. I had been putting off typing or transfering contacts to my 6682 because I wanted to give iSync a shot, and I’m glad that I did. Now everything is up to date on my 6682 and as a bonus so are my taco and 3650 in case I feel the need to grab them on the way out the door.
Another thing that I’m really excited about is the active standby screen on the 6682. I saw a precursor to this on the Sendo X and really liked it. Nokia are definitely on the right track by allowing quick access to as many as 7 apps without having to click the application button. I have access to five apps on the top (Contacts, Messaging, MGMaps, Python, and WirelessIRC) as well as the two softbuttons (Gallery and Opera). The camera app also opens up if the camera cover is opened. That really is quick access to a nice core set of apps for me, with others still available as before.
The other brilliant thing here is at-a-glance access to your calendar and your todo list. With a single click on either you can pop up those apps, bringing the total number of apps just a few clicks away on your standby screen to 9. I find myself using the calendaring system a lot due to the combination of iCal/iSync and the fact that calendar events from today show up on my standby screen. It’s also great to be able to set up alerts for certain events. I had been using (and absolutely love) Backpack but like the tighter integration of iCal and it also saves me SMSes (since Cingular charges a bit much for them).
While I’m happy to have access to the todo app on the standby screen, I wish that the message displayed on screen were a little more helpful. If you only have one todo (yeah right, nobody has one todo) your todo text will be displayed on screen. Once you get past one or two todos they get smoshed in to one line that says something like “Slacker, you haven’t done x things yet.” I hope that Nokia takes a look at this in the future, because a soimple change there can improve the experience a ton. I wouldn’t be afraid to have your active standby screen scroll if you have a bunch of appointments or todos as long as the highest priority todos and soonest events are still above the fold or on the main screen. I can see a list of 2-3 todos and a link to “and x more todos” being much more useful than going from one todo to none on the main screen.
All nitpicking aside, I’m totally in love. The synchronisation is flawless. It Just Works the first time without any glitches (YMMV). What I really love is that I have a vast amount of PIM information available to me on a device that was going to be in my pocket anyway. I’d say that the 6682 does every major function that a PocketPC or Palm based organizer would for me on the PIM side and it’s more than capable of running an array of apps and games. The 6682 really does a good enough job at enough of the functiosn of a PDA that carrying one would be redundant. The only thing I really miss from a PDA is a higher rez screen and Wi-Fi. I think Nokia has that covered in the new E Series though.
Update: I forgot to mention that there’s an app on the 6682 designed specifically to help you move contacts and information from your old phone to your new phone. It copies a program to your old phone over Bluetooth and then allows you to transfer it over to your shiny new phone. It’s really a one way street, but the guys in #mobitopia tell me that it works perfectly.
Posted: October 13th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 7 Comments »
It boggles my mind that with EDGE and the hottest Series 60 phone available in America (I know that’s not saying much) I can’t stream MP3 or Real Audio out of the box. I’ve really been missing the FM feature that the taco has that the 6682 does not. Have no fear though, for a mere 10 bucks you can get streaming audio on your device with VirtualRadio. I was hoping that I would be able to point it to any mp3 stream I could think of but unless I’m missing something that does not look like an option. There is a pretty good list of channels though, and WBUR and WNYC are among them so I can get my Morning Edition and All Things Considered fix if I leave the taco at home. I’m bummed though because both stations air Marketplace at 6:30pm instead of the 6 o’clock time slot that I’m used to.
I’m bummed about the inability to type in URLs of specific streams if they’re not on the list. I’ve been addicted to WMUC lately for their eclectic mix and local bands. I hear that it doesn’t multitask well (I can’t tell you how much I love playing FIFA to NPR) but it does an impressive job of the streaming thing over EDGE.
I’m probably going to have to find a new set of popport headphones since teh ones that came with the 6682 are pretty dorky (or I’m just not fashionable enough) and I’ve broken the little connector thing that sits behind your neck and places the microphone in a usable spot in front of you.
Are there any other apps out there besides Virgin Radio out there that let you stream mp3 or Real? I would kill for an app that let me point it at any stream I wanted. I’ll try Helix again but I wasn’t impressed last time. I’m pretty sure that the built in RealPlayer should in theory be able to stream, but I’ve tried pointing it at a few streams without luck.
Posted: October 12th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 4 Comments »
Nokia has announced a new business line of phones called the E series. These are all Series 60 devices (3rd edition based on Symbian 9.1). The E60 (middle) is a classic but small candybar phone. The E70 is a 6800-style device with a folding keypad. I remember saying that a 6800 running Series 60 would be a killer, so let’s hope I was right. The E61 is blackberry/treo-style quad band UMTS phone and a huge gorgeous screen.
These are some jaw-dropping phones. I can’t wait to see these get out the door. These phones are planned for Q1 2006 (which roughly translates to 2H 2006).
Posted: September 29th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 38 Comments »
I’ve been exploring and playing with my new Nokia 6682 for the past few days but just today got around to setting it up to talk to my IMAP mail server. After setting up the mailbox I went to do something that has become second nature to me: snap a photo and send it via email. I was shocked to find that email is missing as an option under the save menu:
Say what now? Where did it go? I checked with Jim and his 6680 can send via multimedia, email, and Bluetooth. My only options are multimedia, Postcard, and Bluetooth.
The only conclusion that I can come to is that Cingular has crippled the 6682 in order to increase its ARPU (average revenue per user) by forcing users to use the ever lucrative MMS. I should qualify this with the fact that yes indeed, I am able to send pictures via email, but it is about the opposite of easy:
- Snap picture.
- Hit application button.
- Navigate to Messaging.
- Click on Messaging.
- Click on New Message.
- Scroll down, select E-mail.
- Select Option softkey.
- Scroll down, select Insert -> Image.
- Find image.
- Select image.
- Continue as if you had just snapped a picture and selected via e-mail.
Russ doesn’t think that I should call the above scenario crippled. I think I’m fully justified. While yes, the phone retains the ability to send an image via e-mail. However Cingular have made it unneccesarily hard to do so. They’ve made MMS the only convenient method to send pictures, and MMSes bring in much more money than standard data.
This crippling of picture to e-mail reminds me a lot of Verizon’s castration of Bluetooth on the V710. Cingular had to go out of their way to remove the e-mail option and I can’t think of any reason for them to do so except to increase revenue.
If I wasn’t so mad at this point I’d be pretty exceited about the Postcard option on that mail. I’m not sure how much it costs (I’ll investigate once I’ve calmed down a bit) but it appears that this option allows you to send a snail mail postcard of your picture with a personalized message. That’s really really cool, but it doesn’t make me any less angry at Cingular.
Posted: September 27th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 15 Comments »
My Nokia 6682 came in tonight, and I’m completely blown away by it. Compared to the 3650 and N-Gage the fit and finish on the 6682 is absolutely stunning. I was suprised to find full Opera (7.60) installed on the rs-mmc (yes, I’ve already downloaded the free 8.0 update). I quickly got rid of the nast Cingular branded theme and also switched on the active background, which I think I like (but I haven’t had enough time to be sure). There are a bunch of other trial apps included on the MMC including MobiTV that require exploring.
I’m definitely digging the camera “mode” that the phone puts itself in when you slide open the camera lens cover. I don’t think that picture quality is quite as good as my Sony DSC-U20 but it’s a definite improvement over my 3650.
The phone is also a lot smaller than any other Series 60 I’ve had. It’s probably not actually a whole lot smaller, but it’s a little smaller and feels even smaller than it is.
I’m really excited to have a modern Series 60 device so I can play with all of those apps that just don’t work on my 3650 or taco. I’m also excited about taking advantage of the newer Python for Series 60 features that were off limits to me on the 6.0 devices.
Expect more observations over the next few days but my initial impression is “wow.”
Posted: September 26th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 18 Comments »
There’s been a bit of buzz about the Nokia 3250, the little brother to the Nokia N91 music phone. The 3250 is quite obviously derived from the 3230, an inexpensive Series 60 device that probaby hasn’t sold too many units (though I can’t confirm this) because of it’s bad timing to market and the huge “cheap” factor. The 3230 is an inexpensive Series 60 phone but it really comes off just looking cheap.
I’ve noticed that Nokia seems to be betting pretty hard on phones with “modes.” For example with the Nokia N90 there is a standard flip-phone “mode” but if you turn the screen and camera properly you’re using it in camera “mode.” I’m not sure if I buy complex mode changes such as those employed by the N90 transformer or the swivel keypad that changes the 3250 from phone mode to music player mode. At the same time I think that simple mode changes are extremely compelling. For example if you open the camera lens protector on a Nokia 6680 (or other phones from other manufacturers with this feature) it instantly stops being a cel phone and brings up the camera interface. That’s simple and beautiful. I’m not sure that the same can be said for the N90 or 3250.
Part of me wants to argue that any well done phone/music player has to integrate both functions as “core” functions and not compartmentalize them the way they are on the 3250. Without playing with it though I think it’s too early to judge whether it’s a flop or a hit.
Posted: September 25th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 4 Comments »
We ordered up our phones yesterday, a Nokia 6682 for me and a Motorola v551 for her. I kept leaning towards the Nokia 6102 for my wife but kept coming back to the fact that it lacked Bluetooth. As a bonus the v551 is also quad-band so if we find outselves in the UK I’ll have to go back to my 3650 or taco while she can keep using her normal phone.
The phones should be in Wednesday evening; I can’t wait!
Posted: September 19th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 3 Comments »
Real Soon Now we’re going to switch over to Cingular so I can buy a 6682 on contract. So far the front runner for a phone for my wife has been the Motorola v551. It’s cheap (free), quad band (nice!), has bluetooth and just generally is the best bang for the buck in the cheap clamshells. She currently has a C650 which is a cute little phone but is a bit too tiny to actually use and has been having reception issues lately.
With the droppage of the 6102, also free after rebates at Let’s Talk, we’ve got something else to look at. The phone looks like a 6230 in a clamshell package with an up to date S40 UI, VGA camera and a decent external display. I’m really quite bummed that it doesn’t have Bluetooth (a feature that probably makes the v551 the front runner) but the 6102 is definitely worth considering. I’m not going to officially recommend it until I play with it, but it sounds like a capable little device that just lacks a few high end features.
Posted: September 13th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 37 Comments »
Darla is on the ball as usual, and had the launch scoop this morning:
09:31 < DarlaM> matt, the 6682 was launched?
Yes. Yes it was. The phone is available now at Cingular.com or available for $99 after rebates and 2 year activation at Let’s Talk. It looks like Amazon’s superfantastic deal expired before the 6682 was actually released and it still doesn’t look like they have any.
I’ll be snagging mine as soon as I can so leave one on the virtual shelves for me!
Posted: September 10th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Linux, Mobile | 5 Comments »
For as long as Tablet PCs have been on the market, I’ve been lamentinting that they’re a very cool idea. They just cost too much. At first they were in the stratosphere. Eventually you were only paying a $1000 premium over a standard laptop. Now the differential seems to be down even more, but it’s still in the range of a couple of hundred bucks.
I was flipping through the latest HP catalog and opened it up to the page showing their range of business laptops. It starts at $663 for their low end model up to $1663 for (you guessed it) their Tablet PC. To be fair, it looks like the price difference is lower than I’ve ever seen it. The next model down is a nc8230 with a Pentium M 740 and a 15.4 inch widescreen at $1463. The Tablet PC (tc4200) has the same processor, memory, and hard drive, but comes in a smaller lighter package (12.1 inch screen).
So really, there is no apple to apple comparison of Tablet PCs and laptops. A laptop isn’t a Tablet PC and a Tablet PC isn’t a straight laptop.
Come to think of it, I probaby wouldn’t buy a Tablet PC unless I could install Ubuntu on it. It’s been well over a year since I had Windows as my primary boot partition on my aging HP ze4430us. I keep Windows around on a small partition for those times that you need to work with software that only runs on Windows or those freaking websites that you really need to use that only support (and only work in) Internet Explorer. Aside from a monthly or bi-monthly boot in to Windows, my primary laptop has been run by warthogs, hedgehogs, and badgers for the past year and was run by red hats, green lizards and a cast of others before them.
Posted: September 6th, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Mobile | 4 Comments »
It’s official. Christian Lindholm has joined Yahoo!
After 10 fantastic years at Nokia I have decided to quit. As of September 12th I will join Yahoo! as VP of Global Mobile Product first based in London and then moving to California late in 2006.
Congrats are in order to both Christian and to Yahoo! I have no doubt that he will keep things headed in the right direction while exploring new sides of the mobile internet that we haven’t even thought to look for yet.
Posted: September 1st, 2005 | Author: Matt Croydon | Filed under: Apple, Mobile | 23 Comments »
If Apple really does have a line of Apple-branded phones ready to rock, they might just have something. If all they’ve got is the Motorola E790, we’ve got trouble right here in River City.
In all seriousness I hope there’s something else — there must be. The E790 should be one of those phones that just never makes it to market. The itunes-style interface part of it looks halfway decent but the rest of the phone is dogged by Moto’s standard (ugly) UI.
If UIQ 3 weren’t running so far behind I would think that UIQ3 + Apple customization would be a perfect combination. From what I’ve seen, UIQ 3′s one-handed configuration should rock and be very intuitive. Apple’s UI engineers could surely tweak and customize an iTunes interface on top of that for the music stuff.
If Apple were really smart they’d team up with HTC or another company that will churn out devices to spec for a device with that “in-house” polish.
I’ll be watching my aggregator closely on September 7th. Unless Apple has something really big up their sleeves, the Walkman phones are probably going to remain your best bet for some time to come. I’m really excited about the Nokia N91 too, but I worry that whatever PC interface it ships with is going to be too painful for most to use.
To be honest, an N91-like device with the iTunes store hookup would probably slaughter the music/cellphone crossover market.