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I’m going to take some risk here and go on record stating that although I am 100% conviced that there is an “iPhone”, this ain’t it. I’ll even go further to say that the logical partner to build the iPhone is SONY/Ericsson, and not Motorola. Why? Bluetooth.

SONY/Ericsson support Bluetooth in their current round of phones, Apple has already demonstrated interoperability with them in shipping product, and Apple has mysteriously incorporated robust Bluetooth support into OSX Jaguar.

-Ian.

On Thursday, September 26, 2002, at 04:23 PM, Anson Lee wrote:

> And while we’re on the topic of the phone/pda
>
> An article that claims to have stumbled across the Apple hiPhone.
>
> Nice rendering, but what’s with that Apple logo?
>
> -Anson
>
> http://www.eprairie.com/news/viewnews.asp?newsletterIDA48
>
> Apple, Motorola Avert Confirmation of Unannounced Cell Phone
> 9/26/2002
>
> ePrairie has obtained these three photographs (dated September 2002)
> of an
> unannounced Apple cell phone called the Applele hiPhone R4 CHICAGO
> (Exclusive) – A picture can tell a thousand words. Leaked to the right
> place
> at the right time, some pictures of some products can even tell a
> story of a
> new venture by an unsuspecting company that has decided to silence the
> word.
> Well, at least for now.
>
> Such is the case with Apple Computer – known usually for making
> computers
> and MP3 players and software – regarding pictures of a new Apple cell
> phone
> that have been disclosed to ePrairie. As seen on the right, they sport
> the
> grace and colorful styling you’re used to from Apple’s computers but
> in a
> decidely more mobile fashion.
>
> Upon confronting Apple with the discovery, Nathalie Welch, a
> spokeswoman for
> the company, wasn’t interested in revealing any details. In fact, she
> wasn’t
> even interested in confirming its existence.
>
> “I can neither confirm nor deny the rumors that Apple is developing a
> cell
> phone or discuss unannounced products,” Welch said in an e-mail to
> ePrairie.
>
> Representatives from Motorola – a local company that has been known for
> working closely with Apple – also declined to confirm or deny whether
> or not
> the Schaumburg, Ill.-based powerhouse was or will be involved in
> developing
> the phone’s chipset. But several analysts, who say Motorola would be a
> logical partner, also say the release of a cell phone would make sense
> for
> Apple.
>
> “It would fit with Apple’s whole digital universe strategy in which
> the PC
> is the hub of your digital universe and the iPod (Apple’s mobile MP3
> player)
> is a peripheral,” said Kevin Hunt, a research analyst at Thomas Weisel
> Partners who covers Apple but hadn’t heard of a cell phone in the
> works.
>
> He added: “Apple has been very vehement that they wouldn’t get into
> handhelds because they think handhelds will go away and blend into a
> cell
> phone, so it would make more sense to come out with a cell phone.” The
> phones look much like Apple’s older iMacs in terms of the vibrant
> colors,
> prompting Hunt to say: “They do have some of the coolest-looking
> products.”
>
> Other analysts, though, are less convinced: “I’ve talked to some
> component
> manufacturers that say Apple’s going to do this and some that say they
> won’t,” said Dan Niles, an analyst that covers Apple at Lehman
> Brothers who
> has heard conversation of an Apple cell phone.
>
> He added: “I’m not sure how this fits in Apple’s current business
> strategy.
> I don’t view it as synergistic as the iPod. Yes, you can transfer your
> contact list [from your computer] with a cell phone, but it hasn’t
> necessarily been proven that people are using the data capabilities of
> their
> phones anyway.”
>
> Hunt says that Motorola and IBM have banded together to develop chips
> for
> Apple’s power PCs (the G4), and because Apple wouldn’t make its own
> cell
> phone chips, Motorola would be a likely vendor. He adds that the cell
> phone
> would probably be a combination device that has much of the same
> functionality as a handheld.
>
>> From Motorola’s vantage point, the sense is similar to what Apple is
>> saying
> but with the added notion of a sensible synergy.
>
> “I can’t comment on rumors,” said Amy Halm, director of communications
> for
> Motorola’s networking and computing group, “but I can say that Apple
> is one
> of Motorola’s most valued customers and has been for a very long time.
> Apple’s customers are some of the most passionate customers in the
> world.
> Every time Apple introduces a new product, they have the most loyal
> following of any company I’ve ever seen.”
>
> In terms of the chances for success in the marketplace, Hunt says this
> would
> be a very new market for Apple that would complement its own product
> line
> rather than try to compete with the big cell phone makers.
>
> He says Apple – one of the most “tightlipped” companies he’s ever
> covered in
> terms of speaking about products before they’re ready to ship – would
> likely
> begin talking about the phones in the middle of 2003 in anticipation
> for the
> next Macworld trade show. Hunt says the price point for the combination
> device might be between $300 and $500, or that of a higher-end phone.
>
> The pictures obtained by ePrairie named the phone the Applele hiPhone
> R4 and
> were dated with a September 2002 time stamp.
>
> By ADAM FENDELMAN
> Editor-in-Chief
> Reporter’s Beat: Telecom
> adam [at] eprairie [dot] com

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