It's been said before: Apple iPhone rumors intensify

Amid a series of recent trademark filings that include the term "Mobile Me" as it relates to digital music, cellular and telecommunications, the prospect of an iTunes phone (directly from the hand of Jobs) has investors salivating once again. Morgan Stanley got the hype cycle going on this one late last year as it (wrongly) predicted an iPhone launch at the MacWorld expo. The recent discovery of Apple's trademark filings seem to be throwing cold water on all that other cold water people were throwing at iPhone rumors.

Of course, such a product launch would not be Apple's first foray into the mobile handset business. Just last fall Apple and Motorola co-launched the iTunes ROKR phone for Cingular subscribers, but its arbitrary 100 song download cap made it a tough sell. In its second generation the ROKR does not offer iTunes software. Some think Apple plans to launch its own mobile service as an MVNO, but the already-crowded MVNO space does not seem like ripest route. Perhaps Apple's presence will kick-off the much anticipated MVNO shake-out of 2006.

For more on Apple's "Mobile Me" plans:
- check out this San Francisco Chronicle article