Apple Computer shares rose today as investors speculated on whether the company was working on an iPhone, which would meld together an iPod and a cellphone, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Shares of Apple gained $2.22 to $88.36 this afternoon.
The gains were based on speculation by Wall Street analysts that Apple was going to release a phone soon.
UBS backed a “buy” rating, saying that it sees the company releasing a branded cellphone in March or April.
Additionally, Analyst Benjamin Reitzes speculated that Apple may be its own carrier, through a mobile virtual network operator model similar to Amp’d Mobile or Disney Mobile.
Speculation arose in October that T-Mobile USA might be the first carrier to roll out a iPhone. The rumors gained steam after Robert Dotson, T-Mobile’s CEO, commended Apple in October for being a forward-looking company that was attune with the customer.
Still, I wonder how the iPhone would be that much different than cellphones that have iTunes? Several phones have the software, which is a less than stellar experience, given that Apple limits the listener to 200 songs no matter how large the memory card is inside the phone.