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The book is open for a Macworld launch of the iPhone

For those prepared to put their money where their mouth is

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Bodog, the online betting site, has opened a book on whether Apple will indeed announce their much-anticipated iPhone device at Macworld Expo in January next year.

The iPhone has been heavily predicted by just about everyone for years, and the anticipation is now reaching fever pitch. Strapping an iPod to a mobile phone might seem obvious, but the reality is much more complicated.

Part of the problem is that the mobile phone business survives by selling content and trying to break even on hardware, while Apple makes money selling hardware while trying to break even on content. Combining these business models either means giving away everything, or making money on it all, neither of which seems particularly sustainable.

So the most interesting thing about the iPhone is not what the device will look like, but how it will be sold, and by whom.

Brushing aside such complexity, if you feel that a January launch is certain you can put down your $50 at 10/13 (to make yourself $38), or bet the other way at 10/11 (to rake in $45), if you think Mr Jobs has some other card up his sleeve. Not a particularly impressive spread, but if you think it's a sure thing then that's not important.

If Apple launch a phone/iPod but don't call it the "iPhone" then all bets are off. ®

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