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Apple Computer, the maker of the successful iPod music player, has reportedly applied for “iPhone” trademark, which is the first official indication that the company plans to release a cell phone in addition to its lineup of digital media players, computers and some other gadgets.

The Cupertino, California-based company reportedly describes the iPhone as “handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; MP3 and other digital format audio players,” reports AppleInsider. At press time the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database did not contain the filling by Apple, however, several other companies own the iPhone trademark.

It was reported earlier that Steve Jobs, the head of Apple, was so excited about Apple’s iPhone that he has produced several “zealous ramblings amongst personal acquaintances” since spring. It was also claimed that “incremental buzz surrounding the phone” has increased recently and that the long-discussed phone would be released “earlier than some people may be expecting”. Reportedly, Apple already submitted its cell phone for at least two original equipment manufacturers.

Financial analysts have been talking about Apple iPod phone for several quarters now, as this type of product would be able to leverage the company’s digital media franchise as well as drive Apple’s sales up. Analysts from Prudential Equity Group recently indicated that there are two models coming, including one that has Wi-Fi capability.

“Although these phones represent significant upside earnings potential for the company, there are some concerns regarding market acceptance and battery life, given the number of functions included in the phones. Our checks indicate that Apple will produce these phones in limited quantities initially as a market test vehicle,” Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora is reported to have said.

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