iPhone seems to be getting closer

Rumors about Apple's combined mobile phone and iPod - the iPhone - are increasingly taking shape. A patent that Apple filed with the American patent office in August seems to confirm the suspicions once again. This patent is in line with a similar patent that Apple once filed in July 2004. Moreover, it had already been leaked that the Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision, who also makes iPods for Apple, is allowed to produce 12 million 'mobile phones'

Rumors about Apple's combined mobile phone and iPod - the iPhone - are increasingly taking shape. A patent that Apple filed with the American patent office in August seems to confirm the suspicions once again. This patent is in line with a similar patent that Apple once filed in July 2004.

Moreover, it had already been leaked that the Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision, who also makes iPods for Apple, is allowed to produce 12 million 'mobile phones'.

Digg.com founder Kevin Rose claims to have collected more data in a video at YouTube: it would be two models without network capabilities and with a hard drive of respectively 4 and 8 gigabytes. The phone would be marketed in the US by all mobile operators for 249 and 449 dollars respectively. According to Rose there are even two batteries, so the iPod can be charged separately from the phone. As a result, users do not run the risk of the battery of the mobile phone being depleted prematurely.

The patent filed in August describes a tube-shaped device made of zirconia and alumina. These ceramic materials must prevent scratches. It can also be seen from the drawings that a turning wheel is used, as on the current versions of the iPod. Kevin Rose, on the other hand, explicitly speaks of a 'sliding telephone'. Other rumors mention a 2.2 inch display and a 3 megapixel camera.

Experts suspect that the new device will be launched in January at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.

Apple has previously developed an 'iPhone' together with Motorola, the Rokr E1, but that has not been successful. Apparently, Apple is now primarily betting on the digital download market by selling mobile music through the iTunes online store. In Japan, 70 percent of digital music is already purchased via the mobile network, but in Europe this is not yet the case.

In 2004, English research showed that people with an iPod generally have little to do with a mobile phone. However, the same research also showed that users would not need an iPod on which videos can be shown, but the video iPod has so far been a great success.

For analysts, the iPhone is already a reality. Market researcher Benjamin Reitzes expects that the iPhone will generate a turnover of at least 1.5 billion dollars annually. Analyst Keith Bachan of Bank of America Securities has sold 3.9 million Apple phones in 2007 and 6.7 million in 2008.