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iTunes Phone on Hold

The eagerly anticipated Motorola-Apple phone won't see its U.K. launch this weekend.

The Motorola (MOT) iTunes phone drama continues.

Industry watchers have been eagerly awaiting the birth of a phone conceived in Motorola's labs using


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iPod DNA. But iTunes fans will be disappointed to learn that contrary to industry buzz, there will be no delivery this weekend.

Tech blogger Engadget and the U.K.'s


newspaper said Friday that the inauguration of the so-called Rokr phone won't be happening at

Virgin Mobile's

V Festival concert Saturday and Sunday in the U.K.

had reported

last month that the hotly anticipated phone would debut at V Fest. Some analysts thought the concert -- a two-day event featuring 57 bands -- would make a good venue for the rollout of a music phone, though a Virgin Mobile U.K. representative said at the time that there was no plan to launch the phone at V fest.

A Motorola representative declined on Friday to say exactly when the Rokr phone will debut. She cited comments by CEO Ed Zander, who promised an unveiling sometime in the quarter ending Sept. 30.

Motorola twice

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pulled the phone from scheduled introductions at trade shows earlier this year, bowing to pressure from partners like telcos that couldn't agree how to slice the music download business. Later, Motorola's official line was that Apple had urged a delay, preferring a big-bang theatrical setting when the phone was ready to sell.

The Motorola rep did say that when the phone get its formal kickoff, it won't be sharing the stage with any other acts.

"We feel it is big enough to have its own event," says the Motorola rep. "It will be us, Apple and one of our large carrier partners."

With outfits like


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, Motorola,



Sony Ericsson

introducing dozens of new phones each year, the industry rarely has had reason to focus on any one particular model.

But that was up until the Razr phone came along late last year. The popularity of the thin metal phone helped Motorola regain some of the business it lost to Nokia and retake the design leadership it lost in the late 1990s.

Music phones are now expected to fuel a whole new upgrade cycle as consumers opt for handsets that can double as iPods. More importantly for Motorola, the Rokr phone will incorporate Apple easy-to-use iTunes software. If industry pundits are correct, Rokr's success will help Motorola continue the momentum Razr started.