Apple is currently in talks with record labels about mobile music, reports the New York Times.

"Several label executives" have apparently confirmed that Apple has approached some of the major music companies to try and expand its music available to the iPhone direct, and to other mobiles, via iTunes.

Apple is said to want to offer more ringtones and also "answer tones" that are described as customised sounds that a caller hears instead of the usual ringing sound.

Other topics under discussion are rumoured to be over-the-air (as in cellular rather than Wi-Fi) 3G music downloads and whether pricing for tracks available in such a manner should be more expensive.

The negotiations, described as "very active", are thought unlikely to be completed in time for an announcement at WWDC 08 where Steve Jobs will take to the stage to deliver the keynote speech - assumed to be the launch pad for the 3G iPhone - despite that fact that the sources report that "[Apple wants] a big launch in June".