Speculating on the possibility of Apple making an iPod phone has almost become a part-time hobby for analysts and Apple rumor web sites. Everyone thinks Apple will eventually make an iPod phone but there was no solid proof… until now.
According to SmartHouse.com, BenQ, a Taiwanese phone manufacturer confirms that an Apple product called the iPhone is in the works. Apparently while the rest of the world speculates on the possibility of Apple producing an iPod phone, among manufacturers in Taiwan it is common knowledge.
So why is BenQ leaking information about the iPhone to the press? Maybe it’s just sour grapes. Johnny Chan, a J.P. Morgan analyst based in Hong Kong, believes that Hon Hai Precision, a competitor to BenQ, will probably get the contract to build the iPhone. Also, several of BenQ’s suppliers have been requested to supply parts for the iPhone. Perhaps BenQ doesn’t want Apple to monopolize its supply chain.
So when should we expect to see this so called iPhone? Here’s what the professionals say:
– Q4 of 2006; Bill Shope of J.P Morgan
– 75% chance in the next 12 months: Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray
I’ll take a gamble and say by the end of the 2006 Holiday Season we’ll be calling our friends and family on iPhones.
NOTE: The image used in this article is just a concept image and not the real thing.