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Mobile phone manufacturers are playing "catch up" with the iPhone over downloadable internet applications, it has been claimed.

Many believe that Apple has taking the industry lead with downloadable applications offered through its devices such as the iPhone and iPod.

Owners of the iPod Touch learned earlier this month that a new application can be downloaded to turn the music player into a wi-fi mobile phone.

According to Karl Sharpe of, Apple has "shaken up" the mobile industry with these new innovations.

He said: "Other manufacturers have started to realise this but they are playing catch up; Apple has now built a base of users who trust them when it comes to good quality applications.

"Tempting those users to switch is going to be very, very difficult."

City Search, an online directory service in the US, launched a new iPhone mobile broadband widget that can be used by owners to find restaurants and bars in the area.

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