Forbes grabs firm hold of Steve Jobs's "magic wand"

Forbes has exactly two tones: Sarcastically skeptical, if editors thinks its readers don't own a stock, and breathlessly promotional, if they think they do. "The iPhone: Apple's Magic Wand" is an example of the latter. Its writers hail the "touch-sensitive wonder phone" and say "the broad outlines of Steve Jobs' grand strategy for wireless domination are coming into focus." At least when slavering gadget blogs call it the "Jesusphone," there's a hint that they might be tongue in cheek. The Forbes scribes give no such hint.

The thrust of the article: Partners are developing applications for Apple's iPhone, and venture capitalists are investing in startups which might capitalize on the device.

Cisco — which settled a trademark dispute with Apple over the iPhone name with an agreement for joint development — is, to no one's surprise but Forbes's, working on software to transfer files from an iPhone to a PC. As is Intel, a supplier to Apple. Electronic Arts and Sega, which make games, are making games for the iPhone. Kleiner Perkins, where partner Al Gore is also an Apple board member, is investing $100 million in iPhone startups.

But Forbes is no dummy. Apple is soon expected to announce an iPhone compatible with AT&T's 3G wireless network, which operates at higher speeds than the wireless technology the iPhone currently uses. If a friendly article wins Forbes favor from Apple, might it land an early look at the next iPhone? Unlikely, but it's worth a wave of the wand. Even one that leaves Forbes with egg on its face.