Application development for the iPhone may not truly see the light of day until as late as 2009, a report claims.

DigiTimes reports Apple to be considering adopting an Intel processor for a future generation of its mobile device.

Intel's processor - the Moorestown MID (mobile internet device) processor - was revealed at the recent Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco and is expected to launch in 2009.

Moving to the chip would require Apple to abandon the ARM processor it is currently deploying in iPhones. The report suggests Apple may reposition its iPhone as a device somewhere between a laptop and a portable device once it moves to Intel's chip.

Moorestown is scheduled to replace Menlow, a package of chips set to debut early next year. Menlow is designed for ultramobile PCs and includes the dual-core Silverthorne processor and Poulsbo single-chip chipset. These chips can be paired with modules for WiMax, Wi-Fi or 3G (third-generation) mobile services for hardware makers that want to add wireless support to their devices.

Moorestown's biggest advantages will be smaller size and lower power consumption. An ultramobile computer based on Moorestown will consume one-tenth of the power that a Menlow-based device requires when idling, Intel said.

Moorestown will consist of a system-on-chip (SOC) design that packs a CPU, graphics processor, video and a memory controller into a single chip. Previously, many of these capabilities were handled by a separate chipset. Combining them with the CPU allows Intel to reduce the space required by the chips and save power.

In addition to the SOC, Moorestown will include a communications chip, which will handle input/output for storage and wireless connections.