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Already famous new gadget from Apple Computer – the iPhone – may be just around the corner, however, for some reason it will not be released by Christmas, though, it is highly likely that Apple will unveil it at a traditional January event, where are a lot of novelties from the company usually lose the wraps.

Apple iPhone, a high-anticipated cell phone capable of music playback and believed to feature stylish design from Apple Computer, is expected to come in January, however, will not sport monolith form-factor, but will have slide-out keyboard, according to the most-recent rumours from Mac Rumour web-site.

The iPhone is currently expected to be very small and feature 4GB or 8GB of flash memory, depending on the model and its price-point. Earlier it was reported that one of the iPhones will feature Wi-Fi connectivity, but fresh pieces of unofficial information does not point to that capability, instead, they claim that the Apple iPhone will be “doing some unique things”. A good news for those, who do not like to run out of battery on their phones is that the device will reportedly feature two batteries, one for MP3 playback and one for the phone.

The iPhone will come at $249 and $449 price-points, it was reported.

Foxconn Electronics, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics equipment, will reportedly manufacture and ship 12 million of the iPhones, however, it is unclear whether 12 million will be available at launch, during the first quarter, or during the first half of the year.

For the cell phone market 12 million handsets is not a significant number, however, Apple wants its phones to either compliment or substitute at least some of its iPod players. That said, 12 million of cell phone/player hybrids is a large amount even for Apple Computer, who controls over 75% of the whole digital media player market. Back in Q4 2005 the company shipped 14.043 million of iPod players, in Q1 2006 the company sold 8.526 million iPods, in Q2 2006 the firm supplied about 8.111 million of its iPod devices and in Q3 2006 it shipped 8.729 million iPods, up from 6.451 million in the same period a year ago.

According to some analysts, Music-enabled phones already out-ship MP3 players by a factor of more than 2 to 1, hence, it is crucial for Apple to release a phone so that to retain leadership of the iTunes music store which sells digital content.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.

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