Although it's been said before, Apple has to do it soon. Morgan Stanley analyst, Rebecca Trunkle, recently visited Apple headquarters and said that the company will likely unveil a mobile phone at its MacWorld Expo on January 8. The influx of music phones following the lukewarm reception of Motorola's iTunes phone has reportedly compelled Apple to fend off the competition. Runkle believes an iPhone could generate $1.2 billion in sales. One of the iPhone's key competitors would be SonyEricsson's Walkman phone, which I recently had a chance to check out. Despite the lack of a memory card slot, the handset looks slick and doesn't have an arbitrary 100 songs limit (like the iTunes phone). If the Apple really wants to distinguish itself, it should build in iTunes-like features and allow users in the same area to share playlists. The mobile dating services in Asia boast similar features, and I think it could work well for music.
For more on Apple's reported iPhone plans:
- see this article in from MacWorld