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Apple and cell phones

Apple and cell phones

As we approach the company's 30th anniversary, the buzz about an Apple cell phone or "iPhone" gets only more intense. Two days ago, I told you that two Morgan Stanley analysts said they expect to see a cell phone by the end of the year. And now it appears Taiwan-based smart-phone manufacturer BenQ is adding more fuel to the fire. A company exec told an Australian publication that several of its suppliers were approached to manufacture parts for an Apple mobile. "Among manufacturers in Taiwan, [an Apple phone] is common knowledge," the unnamed exec said. Smarthouse magazine also quoted two other analysts who said they expect to see an iPhone by year's end. Also, if the phone is a hit (a likely possibility if Apple is involved), Motorola would see the biggest impact.

Of course, you all remember the Motorola Rokr E1 "iTunes phone" introduced last September. Though the inclusion of iTunes earned it a lot of press coverage, a closer look revealed a poorly designed, restriction-laden phone that won few praises from reviewers (us included). Consequently, sales never took off. Now the laugh is probably on us. Knowing Apple, it wouldn't surprise us if the Rokr was a mere feint in the cell phone direction, with a stronger attack to the sector coming later. And considering Apple hates to share the stage with anyone, you can bet the iPhone (if and when it finally gets here) will be a more solid product. I can't tell when that introduction might happen--Apple is good at keeping secrets--but we'll be there when it does. We found these photos on Engadget, but there's no confirmation that the phone will look like this.

Motorola Rokr E1