Coming Soon: Apple iPhone?

Apple is reportedly working with Softbank Corp. to develop an iPod/mobile phone hybrid device.  The rumour first surfaced on May 13 in the Japanese Nihon Keizai Shimbun Saturday Morning edition.

The story was later picked up by Nekkei Net Interactive, also of Japan, who claims that sources say the phone will sport both Apple and Softbank branding,  and may be released as early as this year.

Softbank will reportedly be the service provider, having recently acquired the Japanese unit of the British mobile phone company Vodaphone.

The phones are believed to be slated for release in Japan later this year, and then in the U.S. after that.  Apple has not commented on the new venture, and Softbank purportedly issued a statement (in Japanese) denying the service as well.

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