Apple calling

Apple looks closer to following up on the iPod with an iPhone. A patent application from the company has surfaced, detailing a wireless device reconfigured to combine both mobile phone and content-playback functionality. Analysts have long speculated that such a product was in the offing from Apple, which could unveil it as early as next month's Macworld conference. Apple declined comment.

BitTorrent flush

BitTorrent has closed another round of funding for $20 million. New investor Accel Partners joins initial investor DCM in providing the financing, which aims to license BitTorrent's content-delivery technology to other Web sites. More than 20 film studios and television networks are on board with BitTorrent to distribute copyright-secure content, including 20th Century Fox, MTV Networks and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

TV-Net connect

A new study from the American Marketing Assn. indicates that 36% of Internet surfers in the U.S. have gone online after watching a TV show to check out content related to that show. The online survey also found that 10% of those polled went online to check out exclusive online footage, while only 1% participated in prescheduled chats with actors or directors associated with the show. Broken down by gender, women were more likely than men to check out extra online content, 25% to 17%.

ClickStar tuning

ClickStar, the entertainment venture from Intel Corp. and Revelations Entertainment, has pushed back its launch date to Dec. 12, closer to the service's first movie debut of "10 Items or Less" on Dec. 15. A spokesman for the venture, which was set to launch Friday, said the service required further fine-tuning. The site's advertising and marketing has been geared toward the service's official debut of the film, which features Morgan Freeman, who is a founding partner of ClickStar.