An Australian gadget magazine is claiming that it has the inside scoop on Apple developing an iPhone for launch sometime soon.

According to the magazine, Smarthouse “Insiders at Taiwanese phone maker BenQ say that Apple procurement executives have been talking to various Taiwanese phone makers during the past few months in an effort to cut a manufacturing deal on an iPod Phone”.

Rumours have been flying around the Internet for some time now that Apple is developing its mobile answer to the iPod. Pocket-lint even ran with an a story that the company were developing a phone in April 2004 here).

The magazine goes on to say that although BenQ are spreading the rumour the company has declined to be apart of making the end result. "An iPod phone is definitely coming. BenQ will not be making it as we are in competition with Apple however several of our suppliers have been approached to manufacture parts", said the BenQ executive.

This is the third piece of rumour to come out about an Apple branded phone in the last week.

According to Mac rumours site macrumors.com a J.P. Morgan reports suggests “Apple is working on "an iPod with phone functions" and is shopping around for a electronics manufacturer.”

The third bit of news is that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients last week that he estimates there to be a 75% chance that we'll seen an iPhone in the next 12 months.

Apple launched a phone with Motorola last year supplying iTunes software so users could play music on their mobile, however the company was heavily criticised by fans because of inability to store more than 100 tracks

We will keep you posted.

Via smarthouse.com.au