updated 08:25 pm EDT, Wed July 5, 2006
iPods design filings
Apple recently filed several design patents that may depict unreleased iPod designs. The design drawings feature cases similar to those currently used by Apple's iPod and iPod nano digital media players, while two designs use a scale similar to the iPod nano. One sketch depicts a Nano without a scroll wheel, instead featuring a keypad that follows the standard mobile phone layout. Above the "keypad" Apple illustrates a circular button which may prove to be a scroll pad. Two more buttons on either side resemble the traditional layout of a cellphone's "talk" and "end" buttons, while a second sketch appears to show some kind of directional pad or touchpad similar to that found on a game controller.
The second image features four designs, the first of which appears to depict a trackpad only "iPod nano." A second design illustrates what appears to be a scroll strip similar to those found on Creative media players. The third design shows what could be a toggle scrolling device of some sort, and the final design depicts a control device that resembles an elliptical clickwheel.
The final image contains an iPod and iPod nano-like device with no visible means of control, which could be the voice-activated iPod described in another recent patent, according to AppleInsider. Apple also shows another scroll strip-styled pad on devices resembling an iPod and iPod nano.