Hello? Is That the iPhone?

by Devanshu Mehta Nov 16, 2006

For as long as there has been Apple, there have been rumors. And ever since Apple took over the iPod market, there have been rumors that they would- any minute now- take the cell phone industry by storm. It seems like the time may have come.

Of course, this is not the first time Apple will have cellular phone related craziness surrounding it. For those with short memories, we already had an “iPhone” last year. It was made by Motorola, could synchronize with iTunes and was heralded as the one phone to rule them all. Until everyone saw the feature-set. It had just enough features to be a marketing department’s dream (with iTunes!) but was crippled and uncool enough that it could never really be anything more than an also-ran.

There is speculation- as there always is- that Apple deliberately held back on that device because they were knew they weren’t going to get it just right, or because they didn’t like the deal with Motorola, or because Cingular was launching their own competing music service, or many of the above.

That’s the thing with speculation.

Well, now we have some unconfirmed, third-hand reports that suggest that the Chinese company Foxconn- that recently got in to trouble over iPod sweatshop claims- has been given the contract to build the iPhone. Keep in mind that the name “iPhone” is a product of the media’s brain (of which this site is a member), not an official product name. Also, keep in mind that even though this story is making its way through those series of tubes that we call the Internet, it is decidedly third-hand.

This is where it came from: a Chinese language publication called Commercial Times wrote that Foxconn Electronics, the largest contract manufacturer of iPods, will manufacture and ship 12 million phones for Apple. For one thing, that is a humongous number of devices. For another, I can’t read Chinese.

So we turn to the Internet for answers. From Commercial Times, the story was picked up by DigiTimes, which is a daily IT news site that keeps an eye on Asian tech news. Good for them, because apparently they do speak Chinese and were able to report on the story. From there, it made its way to other sites around the ‘net. According to DigiTimes- and it’s not clear if they are quoting Commercial Times or found out for themselves- Foxconn is not commenting on the story.

Of course, all of this could mean nothing at all, but it does keep for interesting reading and speculating until MacWorld rolls around in January next year.

P.S. Of course, the Internet- those tubes I mentioned above- is a magnificent thing for random, meaningless research. In the course of looking up information for this article, I discovered that Foxconn was also called Hon Hai, that they built the PS2, PS3 and XBox360, and that their CEO just bought a castle in Czech Republic. If only I could look up useful stuff with the same dedication…


  • I live in Japan, and if apple would take SoftBank as its carrier, than the “iPhone” it will not be for me. Because the signal does not reach inside my shop. I see it as a drawback, even if Apple goes for AU (my carrier) there are other peopple who likes Docomo or Wilcom.

    Anyway, I would not use a phone to play music (all the phones I used since 2000 they play mp3s) I have lisyen to music in my mobile about 3 times… and I am not alone on this.

    What would be nice, is a iChat enabled iPod. So, if Apple makes an iPod that has a camera and has a mic., there would not be need for carriers, and since it is not a phone that your business depend on, you would use it when you are within a WAN. That could even reduce cost of mobile usage… I would buy one for each of my staff.

    That would be a pretty cool device that can:
    Play Music
    Play Video
    Take Pictures
    Record Audio
    Play games
    Video conference
    Wireless messages
    and since it has iChat, you can “beam” (not only a 3x3 song but) important documents

    Now, that would be an iPhone that everybody would want.

    thetnt had this to say on Nov 16, 2006 Posts: 8
  • I forgot to mention that my current phone does all of the above, except for video conference (it can beam also)  also has GPS Navigator, You can watch TV and listen Radio and it is the size of less than two nanos.

    thetnt had this to say on Nov 16, 2006 Posts: 8
  • The iPhone rumour has to be the oldest yet the most persistent Mac rumour there is in techdom.

    What keeps it alive and well are the likes of us who use iPods and have third-party cellphones tucked under the belts or in them pockets.

    I for one can care less if Apple will not come out with the much-rumoured iPhone. But if they do, my 4-year old Kyocera Palm Smartphone has been well-used with the reliability of the old Palm designs and now ready for retirement.

    Just one request from Apple, if you do come out with a cell phone, please make that a standout feature for I (and most iPhone procrastinators) will not be tripping all over ourselves to buy a cell replacement to play videos and music.

    We want a phone first, then a good contact organizer, then a music and video capability last. That should not be too hard to do, right Steve?

    Robomac had this to say on Nov 20, 2006 Posts: 846
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