Chewing on Old Apple

The rumor mills are buzzing about Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) this week, and today, one element that reared its head once again was the whole idea of a cell phone tricked out with iTunes. The fact that it's the week before the big Labor Day weekend (and the last gasp of summer) makes for some slow news days, and this piece of "news" today seems like desperate measures.

News agencies reported that Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC  ) and BellSouth (NYSE: BLS  ) , will release an iTunes-enabled Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) cell phone, in time for the holidays -- although this is one of those "according to people familiar with the matter" news reports.

This might seem like big news except for the fact that the Motorola/Apple musical phone idea was first introduced a full year ago -- I wrote about the agreement between the two companies way back in July 2004. Meanwhile, similar word about imminent launch surfaced last month. This piece of Apple has been chewed and chewed again as we all await a real product launch.

Of course, cell phones that include musical connectivity are a no-brainer in this day and age. Many companies have been talking about their plans to integrate such functions into their phones (admittedly, a development that many have supposed would threaten the ubiquity of Apple's iPods). Along those lines, several Foolish coworkers informed me that Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM  ) Treo already allows users to access music.

Meanwhile, the rumor mills are spinning ever since Apple invited journalists to some kind of "event" on Sept. 7 when they will supposedly announce something big. Other rumors floating around the Internet have included the idea that Apple may release a flash-based iPod Mini.

One can hope that next week's announcement will reveal that Apple had something a little more cunning up its sleeve -- it seems to me that the cell phone news is a bit of a non-event, more than a year after the word originally hit the wires. For my own part, I would rather take today's seemingly recycled news headlines with a grain of salt and wait to see what Apple offers up on Sept. 7.

Palm and SBC Communications areMotley Fool Stock Advisorstocks. To find out what other stocks David and Tom Gardner prefer for the long term, take a risk-free trialhere.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.


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