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Apple mobile due early 2007, analyst claims

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Analysts are predicting that Apple will launch a mobile phone in the first half of 2007.

According to Shaw Wu of American Technology Research “The new phone's design will be similar to that of the iPod Nano, and is likely to come in three colours—white, black and platinum.”

Phew, they’ve got the colours sorted out then.

Wu went on to say "There were plenty of sceptics when Apple first launched its iPod MP3 players that ended up revolutionizing an emerging market…but Apple should not be discounted due to its strong brand name, loyal customer base, and obsession with quality”

OK, there are a number of points here.

An iPod is effectively a toy for teenagers and adults and while it is annoying if the screen gets scratched or the battery dies after 1,000 charges the customer will get annoyed but can generally live with the situation.

If your iPod suffers a complete fit you can format the thing and start over without too much inconvenience, but can the same be said of a mobile phone?

Then there’s iTunes.

Apple creamed the Windows Media Audio competition in no small part because iTunes is a superb piece of software that manages your music collection and which makes it as easy as can be to buy music from the iTunes store.

Most users are oblivious to the DRM and AAC format because iTunes works so well, and while we have little doubt that Apple will make the iPhone look good and function well, it’s hard to see how Apple can work the same trick twice and re-invent the mobile phone.

Will the iPhone play music and cannibalise iPod sales or will it link to your iPod via Bluetooth so one set of white headphones can do two jobs? Surely neither approach is radical enough to count as a revolution.

The analysts report ends thus: "We encourage investors to get aggressive in purchasing shares of Apple prior to the potential revolution of the handset industry"

Ah, right, now we get it. The new iPod that is due next week won’t be the video model that we’ve been waiting for but instead will offer more storage while the new Nano will have new colour schemes.

That’s thin pickings and meanwhile Apple has to restate its financial figures from September 2002, so the analysts have been busy drumming up some excitement for a product that may launch in six months time to keep the share price buoyant.

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