Wednesday, October 18, 2006

iPhone This.

After several years of eager speculation among the ranks of Apple fans, it appears that Apple might be ready to make its long-awaited foray into mobile phones.

According to news reports published this week, Jesse Tortora, an analyst with Prudential Equities, told clients that Apple will be unveiling two iPhone models at January's Macworld Expo trade show.

"We have learned that one model will be a smartphone including integrated keyboard, video, and music capability, while the other model will be a slimmer phone with music capability," Tortora was quoted by the International Business Times as saying. "At least one of the models will include Wi-Fi."

Secret Is Out

The notoriously tight-lipped Apple stayed mum on the subject today, but many analysts were eager to join in the speculative fray.

"There's always lot of speculations with anything Apple might do, but it finally looks like they are ready to unveil iPhone models early next year," said Zippy Aima, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

Last month, Mac news outlet The Mac Observer ran a story quoting a note from American Technology Research analyst Wu Shaw, who told clients that Apple was working on a cell phone. Shaw said at that time that Apple had recently accelerated its efforts to release the product early next year.

iPhone Trademark

Another indication that things are ready to roll in Cupertino -- Apple's home base in California -- came when another Mac news outlet, AppleInsider, reported it located a trademark filing that Apple made on September 15.

The filing described iPhones as "handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; MP3 and other digital format audio players."

The trademark filing also suggested the devices might have video-game capabilities that could be related to the games Apple recently added to its iPod line.

Consumers Waiting

Frost & Sullivan analyst Aima said that whenever Apple eventually decides to push out the iPhone, there will be plenty of consumers waiting in line.

"It is not like this is a new company trying to enter the mobile phone business," she said. "They have established themselves as a 'cool' brand. No matter what they do, enthusiasts are going to give it a look."

Aima is also predicting the company will tie in the iPhone with iPod and iTunes.


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