Apple Inc. (AAPL) received the required approval Thursday from the Federal Communications Commission for its upcoming iPhone, the company said.

The regulatory green light, a standard certification process that any cellular phone must receive before hitting the U.S. market, means the iPhone's launch can now proceed as planned, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said.

"We're on track to release it in late June," agreed Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T Inc.'s (T)Cingular, the cellular carrier with an exclusive contract to distribute the highly anticipated product. "Nothing has changed."

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The iPhone combines a cell phone with Apple's market-leading iPod media player and sports a touch-screen display. It has been the talk of the industry since Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled it in January and gave a preview of its features.

Many analysts predict the sleek gizmo will be another hit product for the Cupertino-based iPod and Macintosh maker. Its pending arrival has helped drive Apple's stock to record highs in recent weeks.

The FCC approval comes a day after a false rumor of a product delay briefly frightened investors, plunging Apple shares by more than 4 percent in a matter of minutes.

The rumor — reported Wednesday on Engadget.com, a gadget fan Web site — was quickly squashed by Apple, and the stock largely recovered by the end of the day.

On Thursday, Apple shares rose $2.10, or 2 percent, to $109.44 after a Bear Stearns analyst said the iPhone launch was on track and reiterated an "outperform" rating on the stock following a meeting with the company's management.

Engadget's report of the delay of the iPhone as well as of Apple's upcoming operating system upgrade called Leopard cited what appeared to be an e-mail it had received from someone within Apple.

But Apple said the e-mail was fake.

"It didn't come from Apple," Kerris said.

The source of the hoax remains unknown, and Kerris would not comment on whether Apple is trying to track it down.