updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu September 7, 2006
Apple phone patent
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's patent application titled "Multi-functional hand-held device," depicting a cell phone capable of functioning in multiple modes. The front of the multifunciton handhel in Apple's new patent is described entirely as a touchscreen, with ports for power and data communications likely residing on the bottom of the device. The sides are to remain button free to prevent accidental activation, while the top might well house power and hold switches. The document was originally filed in March of 2006, and likely holds clues to Apple's upcoming special event scheduled for September 12th, according to MacNN Patent Blogger Neo. Industry watchers believe the company is set to unveil a new full-length movie service via its iTunes Music Store, and that the widely rumored "iPhone" will make its debut along with a revamped widescreen video iPod. The patent describes an electronic device that can function as a cell phone, music player, video player, game player, camera, GPS receiver, "hand top," and a remote control as well as describes the device functioning in multiple modes with the potential of a changing user interface.