Industry insiders at Taiwanese manufacturer BenQ claim Apple has been looking for a partner to build a new range of iPod mobile phones.

According to the report, Apple will release a phone with iPod functions in the next few months. The report emanates from Australian gadget magazine, SmartHouse.

"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. Among manufacturers in Taiwan it is common knowledge. The issue for many is the availabilty of parts if the phone takes off," the unnamed executive is reported to have said.

JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray, and other analysts are convinced Apple intends to make such a move, almost certainly in the coming few months.

Many predict that an Apple-branded and designed mobile phone with iPod features would have a strong chance to grab a good chunk of the global mobile-phone market.