In a previous story, I wrote that Softbank was working with Apple to develop mobile phones with built-in iPod music players. The story was later discredited, but in the past few weeks more information has been leaked that suggest an iPhone may be closer than we think.
First, Think Secret reported that Apple and Cingular have signed an agreement that will make the cell phone service provider the exclusive carrier of Apple’s coming phone for the first six months of its release in early 2007. After that other providers would be able to sell the phone. They also reported that Apple’s phone will feature acandy-bar design with a 2.2-inch display and 3 megapixel camera. (Source: Think Secret)
Second, AppleInsider discovered that Apple filed for a trademark on the term iPhone. In the September 15th filing, Apple describes iPhone 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.” It may also play games and a prototype may be near completion. (Source: AppleInsider)
And lastly, AppleInsider reported on a Prudential report that believes Apple plans to introduce two iPod-based cell phone models. One including an integrated keyboard, video and music capability. The other being a slimmer phone with only music functionality. (Source: >AppleInsider)
The reports should be taken with a grain of salt, especially that last one based on a Prudential analyst’s research. Many people have gotten it wrong when it comes to figuring out what Apple is up to, yet many have also been right. It makes sense for Apple to release an iPhone, and it makes even greater sense to have an integrated device that can go up against the likes of the Treos and Blackberrys of the world. Could this be the evolution of the Newton?