IPHONE REPRISE?

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The Apple iPhone has resurfaced, with an Australian gadget magazine reporting that someone at Taiwanese phone maker BenQ has said that Apple is approaching various companies for a manufacturing deal.

“An iPod phone is definitely coming. BenQ will not be making it as we are in competition with Apple however several of our suppliers have been approached to manufacture parts”, the BenQ executive is reported as saying.
The consensus of the rumour mill is that Apple is going to come up something like a phone-enabled iPod – US only, with iTunes on board for music playing, easy access to the iTunes music store, running on Apple’s own MVNO network, which doesn’t exist yet, but will be set up towards the end of this year.
Certainly phones are getting to be more capable as music players (Sony Ericsson for software, Samsung for large-capacity storage, dozens of suppliers for good-quality Bluetoothbased wireless headsets) so you’d expect Apple to be preparing contingency plans to stay in the game somehow. The MVNO proposition seems less likely to us – it doesn’t make enough money, it doesn’t fit the Apple business model, it would limit the iPhone’s sales to North America when the iPod brand is an international success.