Since Apple’s introduction of the iPod five years ago, the company has sold more than 67 million of the devices and more than 1.5 billion songs from its iTunes online music store. Now, Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Apple are poised to roll out what has been dubbed the “iPhone,” perhaps as soon as January next year at the Macworld conference that kicks off every new year, analysts say. “From a technical standpoint, the phone is pretty much done,” said American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. “It’s a big endeavor and we believe it’s beyond speculation.”
Speculation has simmered since even before the introduction of the ROKR phone from Motorola Inc. that uses a slimmed-down version of the iTunes digital music jukebox to play 100 songs. But sales were lackluster as users complained the phone did not hold more songs.