updated 12:20 pm EDT, Fri September 8, 2006
Apple patent offers clues
Apple's recent patent application for its "multi-functional handheld device" represents the fundamental basis and technology behind the company's much-rumored cell phone efforts, according to American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. "We believe the device will have a candy bar form factor (as opposed to flip phone) with iPod like functionality, including a clickwheel," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "We remain upbeat on Apple's prospects in building a material cell phone business given its strong brand name, loyal customer base, and unique user experience helped by its clickwheel technology and end-to-end business model." Wu predicts a $2 billion opportunity for Apple, should the company gain just 1 percent share in a billion unit market. The firm maintains its "buy" rating on Apple shares with a $91 price target.