Analysts are beginning to consider the possibility Apple may reinvent itself once again - this time as a mobile phone network operator.

The state of the mobile industry today is such that a company can buy bandwidth from larger suppliers, re-branding it under its own name for reselling later; this means new entrants to the market do not need to invest as heavily in infrastructure. A report on Forbes names Virgin as such a company.

Network reluctance betrays opportunity

Forbes speculates on the possibility because Apple has been working with Motorola to create an iTunes-capable phone, which mobile phone networks are unhappy about because the device downloads music from a computer, rather than their mobile networks.

This means they see no revenue or benefit to their business themselves.

"The carriers don't like it," analyst Rob Enderle of The Enderle Group told Forbes. "They want Apple to change the design so the phone has to sync through their networks, not with a PC."

"The solution could be for Apple to launch its own cellular network, doing an end run around carriers and providing the company with revenue from both selling phone handsets and from the resale of cellular service," the report explains.

In related news, reports claim Apple will launch the Apple/Motorola-developed iTunes phone at V Festival on August 27.