Elaborate April fool? Apple's Phone to become a lifestyle companion

Apple is apparently preparing a sports version of the iTouch/iPod which will bear the moniker of "Lifestyle companion"; it could be yet another decoy (like the Clamshell Motorola Razr iPhone) or it could be the successor to Apple's Nike+iPod device.

According to Unwiredview, which broke the story, Apple has filed six patent applications which will bring the iTouch/iPhone to the world of fitness, morphing into a virtual fitness trainer and diet consultant.

With the right sensors and peripherals, the iPhone could also monitor heart rate, calculate how much you ran (thanks to a to-be-announced GPS feature) and become a complete health tool which would be integrated into iPhone compatible fitness machines (just like iPod speakers and other devices).

The Lifestyle companion will integrate with iTunes and will presumably choose whatever track is best for your workout and download videos of the best clips to make you lose your flab.

No launch dates have been announced, but the fact that one of the illustrations shows October 2006 means that Apple could have been working on that project for more than one year.