Verizon launches iPod-like phone
New 'Chocolate' cellphone by LG resembles popular digital music player, and can download songs directly from Verizon's music store.

NEW YORK ( -- Verizon Wireless on Monday released a mobile phone made by Korean company LG that looks remarkably like the Apple's iPod, and has the capacity to download and play music.

The "Chocolate" cellphone will have full video capabilities, and also allow consumers to choose from more than 1.3 million songs from Verizon's online music store for download, the company said.

The "Chocolate" cellphone will only be available to Verizon customers, and those who sign up for a two-year contract can expect to pay $199 for the phone.

The phone will also let users to access Verizon's VCast video service, which offers television and original content for cellphones.

The phone is currently available only from Verizon's web site, but will be available in stores across the United States on August 7.

While wireless carriers have offered music phones for years now, they are still looking for a model that will popularize digital music on phones in the same way that Apple's iPod popularized digital mp3 players.

"Verizon's model seems to be going after Apple and iTunes more than anything else we've seen," Linda Barrabee, a wireless analyst at Yankee Group, told the Wall Street Journal.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications (Charts) and British mobile phone operator Vodafone Group (Charts).

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