Taiwanese phone maker claims Apple scouting for iPhone

Phone maker BenQ claims that Apple has been talking to various Taiwanese manufacturers the past few months about building an iPod-based cell phone. “An iPod phone is definitely coming,” a BenQ executive reportedly told SmartHouse. “BenQ will not be making it as we are in competition with Apple, however several of our suppliers have been approached to manufacture parts. Among manufacturers in Taiwan it is common knowledge. The issue for many is the availability of parts if the phone takes off.”
Rumors of an “iPhone” have been around for years, but this month several analysts say Apple is nearly ready to release the product. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates there to be a 75% chance of a iPhone in the next 12 months. J.P. Morgan analyst Johnny Chan says Apple could use Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision to build the device. Bill Shope of J.P Morgan believes Apple will introduce the phone by the fourth quarter of this year.

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