After a long series of hints, leaks, and rumors, the best evidence yet has emerged that Apple, Inc. is going to release a combination phone and iPod in the near future.
The Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times is reporting that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd. is producing an phone that also has the same multimedia functionality as an iPod.
Reportedly, Apple has ordered 12 million of these for delivery some time before the middle of next year.
Many are expecting this device, often referred to as the iPhone, to be announced at the MacWorld Expo in January.
iPhone vs. the zPhone?
Microsoft’s own audio and video player, the Zune, debuted earlier this week, and at some point this will be joined by another model with additional capabilities.
The company’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, repeated on Monday something Microsoft has said before: a phone/Zune combination is in the works.
At this point, no additional information is available on either one of these devices. One of the most important questions still unanswered is whether these devices will be smartphones, or just "dumb" phones with multimedia capabilities added on.