75 Percent Chance Apple Phone Soon

Financial analyst predicts Apple will release an iTunes compatible cellphone within the next year.

Apple rumor sites have jumped on a Piper Jaffray buy recommendation, because it strongly supports the notion an iTunes compatible phone from the company could appear sooner than later.

Piper analyst Gene Munster wrote in research note to clients, "We believe Apple will benefit from the new Intel-based Mac's, along with what we estimate to be a 75 percent chance of a iPhone in the next 12 months."

While a couple of iTunes phones from Motorola are on the market, the ROKR E1 and SLVR VZ, neither captured the imagination the way iPod music players have or an Apple branded phone might. Some say it was because the first iTunes model, the ROKR, limited its song capacity to 100 songs and wasn't particularly appealing physically.

Rumors about an Apple-branded phone have been circulating for quite some time now. Apple registered the mobile-handset-friendly trademark phrase “Mobile Me” in January, covering a range of mobile devices and services. And then there's this concept-image of what’s supposed to be an Apple phone circulating.

We'll keep you posted.

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