Despite persistent rumours of new watches and televisions from the iPhone maker, Apple's next move is likely to be an unexpected one. According to a 'source familiar with the matter' quoted by Far East newspaper DigitalTimes, Apple plans to bottle and sell a unisex scent in tribute to the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The news will likely surprise long-term Apple observers, as the young Jobs was best known for his rather fruity body odour, thanks to a flirtation with an all fruit diet, and a brief stint working at Atari saw Jobs forced to work night shifts at the insistence of his co-workers.

The scent, marketed as simply 'Steve,' will be available exclusively via Apple Stores worldwide, both instore and online, along with a selected number of high street stores. The source suggests Apple may even pipe the scent, described as a 'floral and fruity' mix of sunflowers and apples, with a hint of aluminium and glass, into stores to tempt customers, similar to how supermarkets use the smell of fresh bread to entice shoppers. DigitalTimes suggests that Walmart and Target stores in the US have already eagerly agreed to stock the scent, which will likely be sold in 100ml and 30ml 'mini' sizes, while Superdrug and Savers have been targeted as ideal UK outlets by Apple, according to unnamed sources.

Steve Jobs

The scent is believed to have been developed by Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of Industrial Design and a team of specialist perfume designers or 'noses,' brought in from Paris, France under the cover of night. 15 months in development, Ive is rumoured to have developed a nose for scents while working on a toilet design for Ideal Standard, the Hull based manufacturer of bathroom furniture, showers and suites. At Apple, Ive is reported to have used a special 'smell-proof' room, similar to the companies famed £100 million iPhone radio test facility, to fine-tune 'Steve.'

An early version of the sent was rumoured to have been rejected by current Apple CEO Tim Cook on the grounds that it smelt more like pears then apples, a smell that Cook noted would likely cause confusion among Apple's dedicated army of users. The news that Apple will soon be marketing scent brought a mixed response from analysts and high-profile investors this morning, with one analyst predicting the move would "likely be seen as a breath of fresh air," for the industry, while another, less optimistic analyst noted the move "simply stank." Samsung meanwhile, is thought to be developing a similar scent under the code name 'Sam,' for shipping as early as the fourth quarter of 2013.