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Apple's iPhone to arrive in early 2007 with 2MP camera

Apple Computer's much anticipated iPod cell phone will include a 2.0-megapixel digital camera when it arrives late first quarter or early second quarter of next year, according to a new report out of Taiwan.

The China Times said Thursday the device, which will merge traditional cellular capabilities with Apple's legendary iPod digital music player technology, has been finalized and released to manufacturing.

According to the report, Foxconn will begin delivering the phones to Apple out of its Fushikang manufacturing facility at run rate of 500,000 to 600,000 per month beginning in February.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker is said to have enlisted the help of several component suppliers to provide various aspects of the phone, including Foxconn subsidiary AlusTech, which will fabricate the digital camera module; Largan, which will supply the actual camera lens; and Micron, which will provide the CMOS image sensor.

Intel, Sharp, Tripod Technology, Broadcom and Sunrex are also said to be part of the mix, supplying the memory, LCM display, circuit board, baseband chip and keypad, respectively.

Apple will reportedly tap long-time iPod casing manufacturer Catcher Technology to mold and manufacturer the phone's exterior housing. In recent years, Catcher has supplied casings for Apple's aluminum iPod mini and, most recently, its second-generation clip-on iPod shuffle player.

Contrary to some earlier analyst claims, the report published Thursday indicates that the Apple-branded cell phone will initially be available in only a single model. Pricing information was not disclosed.