Apple shares surge on iPhone speculation

Nov 21 2006 - 04:49 PM ET | Apple, Rumor

Shares of Apple have hit an all-time high [AAPL] with the latest surge related to speculation about the long-rumored "iPhone". While there have been rumors of an Apple branded mobile phone for years, the buzz has hit an all time high lately. Analyst Shaw Wu is leading the charge by noting in a recent report that "we believe it's beyond speculation."

The current best guess for a launch point is MacWorld Expo 2007, which takes place in January. The conference overlaps CES which means no matter what happens there will plenty of new gadgets. The device is said to be music centric, probably most similar to the popular Walkman line of handsets from Sony Ericsson.

New this week is a rumor that Broadcom has been tapped to provide chips for the iPhone. Other reports, mostly out of Asian pubs, cite orders being placed with manufacturers for delivery starting early next year. Analysts are estimating that Apple could sell up to 12 million of the phones in 2007. That would be an extraordinary number considering Apple would be a completely new player in the industry.

And if all the rumors of Apple's first cell phone aren't enough, there is now talk of a second phone! This one stems from Mr. Wu again, saying that it will be based on the iChat software that currently ships with OS X. While there may well be a messaging-centric phone in the pipeline, iChat is a desktop application built to run with APIs that are completely unavailable on a mobile platform. It's more than a little misleading to say there could be a phone "based on" iChat.