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Apple and the iCell?

Apple and the iCell?

Macworld came and went, and Steve Jobs made no announcements at the show regarding a fabled Apple cell phone. The technology rumor mill has speculated for more than a year now that something to that effect will happen, but we're still in the dark regarding specifics. Of course, Apple dipped its toe into the wireless water last September when it joined with Motorola and Cingular to unveil the disappointing Rokr E1 iTunes phone. And now that Moto more or less divorced Apple with its new Rokr E2 music phone, Apple can approach the market anyway it likes.

After all, not only are cell phones extremely widely used, they're also one of the few gadgets that Apple hasn't addressed. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to guess that such a move is likely. Speculation varies from a simple "iCell" (that would most likely trounce the Rokr) to a complete Apple-branded network and a broad selection of handsets. Like Virgin Mobile, Apple could go the MVNO route and lease infrastructure from a major carrier. But more interestingly, Arstechnica.com has reported that Apple recently filed for four trademark applications for the term MobileMe. It appears the filings reference a number of goods and services, including "telecommunication services for the dissemination of information by mobile telephone, namely the transmission of data to mobile telephones." Now, c'mon Steve, just what are you up to? Well, whatever it is, you can bet that Apple's lips will be tightly sealed until a showy "one more thing" event reveals all.