More than a quarter (29 per cent) of Macworld Online readers believe Apple should invent 'the world's best phone'.

A further 19 per cent say Apple's resources would be better spent on developing a home cinema system.

Many (11 per cent) suggest it should invent the world's best mouse, with the same number saying the company should release a digital camera – but one that's better results than its last attempt – the QuickTake.

A personal-transport device and games console (both 7 per cent) are other choices.

Less popular suggestions were a backup system (5 per cent), a keyboard (1 per cent), and speakers (1 per cent). Some readers opted for 'Other' (9 per cent) and made their recommendations in the forum.

On the phone Although an Apple-made phone was a popular choice in the poll, the forum tells a different story. While many readers say Apple would be wise to integrate a mobile phone into the iPod, they suggest there might not be much mileage in developing a "phone-that’s-just-a-phone", as one reader put it.

One reader said: "The iPod was different, but doing a phone wouldn't be. Apple would have to trade purely on style, brand, quality, ease-of-use and also cost."

Another said: "Apple would need to look for a revenue stream to compensate for the minimal profit margins. That may come from owning a share of the network it connects to or they might prefer other ways of adding value, maybe from iTunes Music Store downloads or some services akin to .Mac."

Many say Apple should add functionality to the iPod. "It should offer a PDA-phone-hard-disk-iPod with a cut-down version of Mac OS X and the iLife apps. All that functionality combined with Apple's style and ease of use could trigger Joe Public into really wanting these things," suggests one.

Another said. "The iPod should offer users a 24/7 universal connection for downloading music. It could also use voice over Internet to chat," suggests one reader.

"How about a Video iPod," another says. "With Apple-branded video goggles – wireless video glasses that let you watch a movie."

Taking the digital hub home Of the home cinema suggestion one reader notes: "There are similar devices appearing on the market already, but these seriously need Apple style and ease of use."

One reader says Apple should set to work on developing "an Apple Media Server that gives access to iMovies, iPhotos, QuickTime, Internet, and anything else that could be usefully displayed on a TV".

Another conceives of "a device with TiVo-like abilities and an application called iCinema available as a download for Mac and PC".