(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Speculation that Apple Computer is set to unveil an Apple-branded cell phone with direct access to the iTunes Music Store is expected to come to fruition within one year, security analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a research note.
“Apple hasn’t confirmed its phone strategy (or even acknowledged that one exists), but at our recent meeting management did suggest A) handset makers will eventually get an MP3 offering right and B) Apple’s strategy is to be an innovation leader,” wrote analyst Rebecca Runkle, according to Billboard.biz.
Runkle said last year that an Apple-branded iPhone could generate as much as $1.2 billion for Apple should it pursue the strategy.
Morgan Stanley Taiwan analyst Johnny Chan told Barron’s Online that Apple may use Taiwanese electronics OEM Hon Hai Precision, who makes components for the iPod Nano, to create the iPhone, rather than partner with another existing manufacturer. Apple collaborated with Motorola to produce the ridiculed ROKR iTunes-compatible phone.
It is also believed that Apple will opt to lease airtime from existing carriers and operate the mobile phone service on its own, rather than selling the device through other wireless companies.
iPhone rumors began circulating in 2002 when Apple first registered the Internet domain name “iPhone.org” and trademarked the “iPhone” name in the United Kingdom. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers