“For the better part of the past two years, there have been rumours that Apple Computer Inc. was about to launch an iPhone, a supercool device with all the same sexy features as the company’s wildly popular iPod digital music players, but with the added ability to make cellphone calls,” Mathew Ingram reports for The Globe and Mail.

Ingram reports, “Those rumours have gained substantial traction over the past few weeks. First, a Taiwanese financial newspaper said that a local firm had won a contract to make 12 million music-playing mobile phone handsets for Apple. Then, on Nov. 30, Apple filed a patent application for a combination phone and music player (the company also reportedly owns the domain iphone.org).”

“Analyst Gene Munster of brokerage firm Piper Jaffray, who said in September that Apple would likely launch an iPhone within four to six months, wrote in his latest research report that he now expects the launch to come at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco on Jan. 9,” Ingram reports. “The iPhone rumours have been fuelled by many things, including a seemingly unquenchable desire on the part of Apple fans to have the company’s distinctive logo plastered on everything important in their lives. But there is also a business case to be made for the company’s entry into the market.”

MacDailyNews Take: And on everything trivial in our lives, too. wink Thankfully, Apple provides logo stickers with every Mac.

Ingram continues, “Much like the digital music player market was when Apple came out with the iPod, the cellphone business is hardly a technological frontier, with billions of people owning mobile phones. At the same time, however, there is a lack of well-designed, easy to use and attractive cellphones on the market… There are also few phones that combine a cellphone and a music player with any degree of success… That means there may still be a market opportunity… One thing is for sure: If the iPhone rumours do turn out to be true, it will crank up the heat even further in what is already a hotly competitive market, and companies like Nokia, Palm, Motorola, and Research In Motion could really start to sweat.”

Full article here.
Ingram gets it. He should explain it to CNET’s Michael Kanellos who thinks today’s cell phones are “really good.”

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