Use a mobile phone and an MP3 player? Take two gadgets to work? Not me. I want a device that interrupts my favourite song every time I get a phone call.

Yes, the much-anticipated iPod phone, or iPhone, is rearing its ugly head again, with American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu claiming the design is already in the bag and that consumers could get hold of the devices next year – the launch not being quite ready for next week’s high profile ‘Showtime’ event.
It’s apparently going to be similar in appearance to the iPod nano and could prove popular with Apple’s loyal fan base.

But I’m not sure the whole Apple ecosystem concept will extend to my trusty mobile. Adding functionality to mobile phones has previously resulted in ungainly bulk - I’ve just snubbed the upgrade to my Sony Ericsson on the basis that its increased features will decrease the space in my pocket.

And the mobile phone market is not the new frontier Apple enjoyed when it set the standard for portable music players – there are already well-established global names that have built up a loyal following on the basis of intuitive menus and sleek styling. Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola are likely to prove more formidable foes than the host of brands that attempt to shave a small percentage off Apple’s dominance of the MP3 player market.

And who will be willing to risk losing their music and their contacts list in one fell swoop?