Questions over Apple Computer’s mobile music ambitions have risen to the surface again this week, following the disclosure that the Cupertino-based firm filed a trademark request for the term “Mobile Me” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
According to the filing, the Mobile Me term covers a broad range of activities, including computing devices, mobile devices and mobile services such as music, video, games, e-mail and messaging. It also spans various distribution networks, such as the Internet, intranets, broadcast TV, cellular networks and satellite.
However American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu issued a research note voicing his belief that the filing points to a future Apple-branded mobile phone or perhaps even an Apple-run mobile phone service.
“Apple has long been rumored to be an MVNO candidate,” wrote Wu.
MVNO is the term given to companies like ESPN and Disney who offer mobile service plans by leasing the wireless networks of others.
“We believe this would be a successful strategy and given the type of content and markets Apple has had success in—mobile music, mobile video, mobile blogs, youth market, etc.—we believe additional branding for services coming to the market would heavily involve wireless downloading of content to maximize sales and meet customer expecations for ease of use.”
That said, Wu also said he expects several new Motorola phones containing the iTunes client this year, including several RAZR models. The new Motorola ROKR E2 does not contain iTunes support, but rather Motorola’s pending iRadio service.