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Thursday, May 11, 2006, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Mossberg: Apple working on cellphone, media hub

In an editorial published on Thursday, renowned Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg asserted that Apple Computer Inc. is currently working on both a media-playing cell phone and home-media hub.

Mossberg made the comments in his piece "In Our Post-PC Era, Apple's Device Model Beats the PC Way," which contrasts Apple's end-to-end model of designing both the hardware and software with Microsoft's component model, where many companies make hardware and software that run on a standard platform.

"In the first war between these models, the war for dominance of the personal-computer market, Microsoft's approach won decisively," Mossberg wrote. "Aided by efficient assemblers like Dell, and by corporate IT departments employed to integrate the components, Microsoft's component-based Windows platform crushed Apple's end-to-end Macintosh platform."

"But in the post-PC era we're in today, where the focus is on things like music players, game consoles and cellphones, the end-to-end model is the early winner," he continued. "Now, Apple is working on other projects built on the same end-to-end model as the iPod: a media-playing cellphone and a home-media hub."

Both such products have long been rumored to be under development at Apple's Cupertino, Calif.-based design labs, with several Wall Street analysts predicting the company will debut an iPod-like cell phone later this year and eventually introduce a set-top-box that would act as a centralized media hub for in-home networks. However, Mossberg appears to be the first mainstream journalist to simultaneously vouch for both rumors.