Apple is secretly preparing to push its iPhone as a gaming platform, taking on the likes of Sony, Nintendo and Nokia in one move, a report suggests.

The New York Post claims Apple has been quietly developing iPhone to support games, "secretly plotting" ways to transform it into a mobile gaming machine.

The report claims at least one major game developer was given access to iPhone technology "some time ago".

Apple will reveal more of its plans "soon". At the very latest news will emerge at Macworld Expo San Francisco, according to the report.

Positioning the device as a handheld gaming machine would put Apple in competition with Sony's PSP, Nintendo's DS or Nokia's N-Gage devices.