Apple patenting mobile phone service

Written by Wil Harris

January 18, 2006 | 10:48

Tags: #phone #rokr

Companies: #apple #intel #motorola

Reports suggest that Apple is trying to trademark the name 'Mobile Me', in conjunction with a mobile phone service the company is planning to launch.

Forbes says that the patent application applies to a "Set of trademarks for a mobile telephone service featuring music, video, email, and Internet functions."

The 'Mobile Me' name could apply to handheld devices as well as actual phones, suggesting that Apple could come out with a range of devices and services for different applications and segments of the market.

Apple's move into mobiles has long been predicted. The Motorola ROKR phone was generally considered a failure, since Apple crippled Moto's ability to do anything cool with the phone other than load iTunes on it. An All-Apple device, however, could have the famed usability of the iPod and the brand cachet and traction that is now established.

Apple reportedly killed a mobile music ringtones project at the last minute a couple of months ago, after objections from mobile companies. Could this resurrect the idea?

Given Apple's new relationship with Intel, it would seem rather likely that the new devices would be based on Intel's PXA handheld chips. This could give them the power of a PocketPC - but running whatever Apple operating system may have been developed.

Would you buy an Apple mobile? Let us know in the forum.
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