Coming soon: the iPhone without a phone

[intro]Rumours suggest that Apple's next generation of iPods will run Mac OS X, just like the iPhone. Makes sense[/intro] Just when you think you've

Just when you think you've finished blogging for a day, you come across a gem like this. It seems analyst Gene Munster suggests a team is working on Mac OS for the iPod - something supported by a quote from Jobs at Apple's Town Hall address: 'There is one OS group that does Mac OS X for the Mac and the iPhone, as well as "some iPods we're working on."'

Of course, it makes perfect sense for Apple to produce a phoneless version of the iPhone - most reviewers have agreed that the iPhone's iPod functionality is better than the iPod's, thanks to its huge screen, touch interface and massive battery life (turn off all other features and the iPhone will play music for over 30 hours!).

Then there are the economies of scale that come from sharing iPhone and iPod technology.

A Multi-Touch iPod would also encourage iPod owners to upgrade, and also create some daylight between Apple and the crowd of MP3 rivals.

But could it threaten sales of the iPhone? Certainly, I'd happily buy an iPhone without phone functionality. Particularly if it still had Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - so when I'm outside a hotspot I could wirelessly connect to an super-fast HSDPA phone to get iPhone-busting browsing speeds.

So it could be that Apple will be it's own biggest competitor.