Is the arrival of the iPhone, a hybrid mobile phone and iPod music player from Apple Computer, right around the corner?
According to analysts, Apple is rumored to be ready to release the “iPhone” at the January 2007 Macworld conference. “From a technical standpoint, the phone is pretty much done,” said American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. “It’s a big endeavor and we believe it’s beyond speculation.” Apparently the rumored existence of the iPhone has morphed from a question of “If” to “When.”
A trail of clues about the iPhone’s existence have been popping up all over the Internet for over a year now:
- In June 2005, the source code of an iTunes update contained multiple references to an Autofill phone playlist function.
- In March 2006, a source at BenQ, a Taiwanese phone manufacturer confirmed that an Apple product called the iPhone was in the works. Why would BenQ leak info about the iPhone to the media? Sour grapes. Hon Hai Precision, a competitor to BenQ, allegedly won the iPhone contract with Apple.
- Apple’s CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, might have let the ‘cat out of the bag‘ on an Apple analyst 2006 Q3 conference call when he said the following: “As regards cell phones, we don’t think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is. But over time, that is likely to change. And [Apple is] not sitting around doing nothing.”
Since Apple’s introduction of the iPod five years ago, the company has sold more than 67 million of the devices and more than 1.5 billion songs from its iTunes online music store. We can only speculate what the iPhone will mean for Apple’s bottom line. But as a result of all this iPhone hype and rumors, American Technology Research has upgraded Apple stock (AAPL) to a ‘buy’ and raised the target price to $92 (US).