Rumours that Apple is preparing a second-generation iPhone continue to circulate, with Far East manufacturers and an analyst adding their weight to the discussion.

A recent report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times claims Taiwan's Wintek has secured the contract to manufacture touch-screens for the device.

As reported by DigiTimes, the new iPhone will ship in September - at a significantly lower price than current models - $249-299 as against the current product price of $499 or $599.

Mobile industry sources now believe Apple will ship a European version of the iPhone as soon as September, but it's not yet clear if this will be identical to the model sold in the US.

It's thought that O2 may secure the contract, but Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile have also been named as networks interested in carrying the device.

Reports of an iPhone nano follow in fighting at analyst house JP Morgan. One analyst there claimed an iPhone nano was in development to debut soon, another at the firm disagreed. That firm's official position now is that a 3G iPhone is in development.

Dawson Market Research analyst Jason Munford believes Apple does have plans to introduce an iPhone nano, which he anticipates the company will target at younger users. The analyst predicts Apple could sell up to 40 million of these in 2008.

DigiTimes points out that its own sources have trickled no new information on any 2G iPhone plans at this point, but has claimed that Quanta, Inventec and Foxconn are all attempting to secure the contract to manufacture iPhones for the European market.

Meanwhile the iPhone rush continues in the US. Seeking Alpha reports that 20 Apple retail stores selling out of their stock of the device since Monday.

"This decline indicates that iPhone demand remains strong as we enter the third full week of iPhone availability," the investor website writes.