Apple Computer will announce Tuesday a cell phone with wireless service from Cingular Wireless, a news report said.
The launch of the new phone and service are expected to be announced Tuesday at the annual Macworld event, according to the sources cited in The Wall Street Journal.
The Macworld event started in San Francisco on Monday, and some reports expect Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs to announce the new phone and service when he delivers the keynote Tuesday. Apple may not tie-up with a single wireless services provider but instead introduce an “unlocked” phone that can be used on different networks, according to some reports.
Cingular spokesman Ritch Blasi declined to comment to IDG News Service on the report, and Apple spokesman Steve Dowling did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A number of industry analysts have predicted that Apple will launch a mobile phone with music playback capabilities, to take advantage of the strong position its iPod has in the mobile music player market. Sales of Apple mobile phones could dwarf sales of the iPod, the analysts said.
It was rumored at one point that the phone would be called the iPhone, but that seems unlikely after Cisco Systems released a family of Internet phones under that brand name.
Cingular has turned to music to retain and attract new subscribers. It introduced Cingular Music late last year, which offers subscription-based music services from leading online music services including Napster and Yahoo Music from Yahoo Inc. to the handset. Cingular said it teamed with Microsoft to incorporate Windows Media Digital Rights Management into select handsets.
(Stephen Lawson contributed to this report.)