11/22/2006 3:02:00 PM
Is Apple building two iPhones?
A Taiwanese company which has built much of its commercial success on supplying components for Nokia, has revealed that Apple has placed an order for 12 million handsets.
Additionally, an American analyst is claiming that there will be not one but two 'iPhones' produced by Foxconn.
Although Apple remains tight-lipped about the as yet unannounced products, a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times quoting sources within Foxconn's parent, Hon Hai Precision Industry, is being given widespread credence.
Rumours point to the initial iPhone (a name which Apple has trademarked) being a candy bar device with basic telephony functionality but capable of playing ITunes music tracks.
However, Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, claims that Apple is definitely planning a second smartphone which will feature Apple's own IM [Instant Messaging] client – iChat.
Wu is even suggesting the second phone might be branded 'iChat Mobile'.
Foxconn makes a sensible choice since it already has contacts with Apple as well as Sony. Moreover it claims to be capable of building 50 million handsets a year.
The news marks a major challenge to existing handset vendors like Nokia and Sony Ericsson which are positioning their own musicphones as a direct alternative to an Apple iPod. Even Alcatel has got in on the act with its OT-E801 handset which it claims to be the industry's first sub-£50 prepay
music phone aimed at teenagers.