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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.


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
> 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.
> Editor-in-Chief
> Reporter’s Beat: Telecom
> adam [at] eprairie [dot] com